It's not that I'm unsympathetic to kids who have allergies, but at some point one kid's allergy cannot impact an entire class or school...
Schools can make reasonable accommodations for students with medical needs. If your child's medical needs are extreme--and life-threatening allergies constitute extreme, in my book--then perhaps an alternative to the neighborhood school would be the appropriate placement.
I am acquainted with another blogger, one who works in the education field but not as a teacher, who wrote a blog post expressing similar sentiments. She may as well have kicked a hornets nest.
It wasn't local parents who got their panties in a bunch. No, it was a group of parents in a distant city who got up in arms because she didn't suggest that schools should do everything under the sun to protect children from the scourge of a peanut. She wasn't sympathetic to their needs, she shouldn't work with children.
She should be fired.
Life got uncomfortable for this blogger when the Peanut Parents decided to march. I'm pleased that her school district didn't buckle.
Again, I'm not unsympathetic to parents who have children with such extreme allergies. However, we have to look at what's reasonable. If your kid has a life-threatening allergy, it's not reasonable to expect the whole school to accommodate that. As I wrote before, what happens when one parent forgets and packs something small in their child's lunch--does the kid get suspended or does the parent get brought up on attempted murder charges?
It's not the school's business at all what I pack in my kid's lunch. If your kid has an allergy, perhaps the school can set aside somewhere besides the cafeteria--where hundreds of kids congregate with all sorts of food--for your kid to eat. Perhaps your kid already knows enough to eat apart, or knows what to do if he/she encounters someone on the playground who might have had a PB&J at lunch.
But to go after someone's job to satisfy your own bloodlust because a school employee doesn't agree with you? I have to wonder if you're really trying to protect your kid, or if perhaps you're lashing out because you're angry that your kid has these allergies.
Peanut Parents, life has dealt you and your kid a difficult hand. I understand that; I have friends and relatives with life-threatening or difficult conditions (cerebral palsy, Parkinson's Disease, Down's Syndrome), and I know how hard it is to accept that. However, your threatening people is not going to make the world a more understanding or sympathetic place. Trying to get someone fired is bad enough--how angry must you be now that you've failed? Stop being angry.
Reasonable people can disagree on where that accommodation line can drawn; that doesn't mean they are insensitive or want your kid to die.
I don't hear anyone suggesting that Safeway not be allowed to have bulk peanuts in a bin over in the produce section. My guess is you just keep your kid away from that part of the store. Likewise, it's unreasonable to expect a school to ban a Snickers bar or a PB&J for several hundred students. Raising awareness in others and teaching your own kid how to cope will elicit plenty of compassion and willingness to help; marching on a school with pitchforks, whether to ban foods or get someone fired--not so much.