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Navigating Allergies and Food Sensitivities

Food Bullying

Wow, I was just reading this article from Food Allergy Initiative, Bullying and Allergies. According to Newswise “A 2010 study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, ACAAI’s scientific journal, showed that 80 percent of food bullying incidents happen while at school. Food bullying can range from verbal teasing to forceful acts of making a student come in contact with an allergen”

It reminds me of one particular time, my oldest son, who is ahaphyllactic to peanuts, dealt with bullying in Elementary School. I remember being so surprised one day when my 8 year old son came home, terrified, telling me “I can’t go to school tomorrow Mommy!” He was really scared! I am so glad I listened, with 3 little ones, it isn’t always easy to hear every conversation going on, but, when I asked him “Why can’t you go to school tomorrow?” He responded with “They are going to bring Peanuts and Kill me!”

Of course that got my attention, my son was very good about sharing the details with me. I assured him, that I wouldn’t let him go to school until I spoke with the school principal and that she cleared up the situation and could assure my son and I that he would be safe to go.

In times like these, I do lots of “deep breathing” to keep myself calm, write everything down, so nothing is forgotten in the conversation. I called the School Principal, I didn’t take it out on her because she was not the cause, she was my ally. She was able to find the children involved, brought them to her office to have a private, informative, and very serious talk. Within one hour of my phone call, the principal called me back, with the good news that the talks had occurred, that there in no way would be any incidences, and that the kids would all apologize for their behavior and words.

In addition to the situation, the principal also called their parents to inform them of the seriousness of the matter, even if the kids didn’t fully understand the severity of their accusations. One of the parents did call me directly to apologize for her child’s behavior.

My son went to school, the kids all apologized, and he actually became best friends with one of the families. They continue to be friends into College. Yes, it was the one where the parent called me personally to apologize! :)


Posted in Tolerance

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