Student, 13, Shares Lunch, Gets Detention : UPDATED!

Here you go, folks!

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A 13-year-old boy at Weaverville Elementary School in California shared his school lunch — a chicken burrito — with his friend who was hungry. For this, he got detention. The food-sharing miscreant, Kyle Bradford, told KRCRTV:

“It seemed like he couldn’t get a normal lunch so I just wanted to give mine to him because I wasn’t really that hungry and it was just going to go in the garbage if I didn’t eat it,” said Bradford.

But the Trinity Alps Unified School District has regulations that prohibit students from sharing their meals.

The policies set by the district say that students can have allergies that another student may not be aware of.

Tom Barnett, the Superintendent of the Trinity Alps Unified School District says that hygiene issues also come into play when banning students from sharing meals.

“We have a policy that prohibits students from exchanging meals. Of course if students are concerned about other students not having enough to eat we would definitely want to consider that, but because of safety and liability we cannot allow students to actually exchange meals,” said Barnett.

Maybe he knows more about those school lunches than we do. But he seems to know less about 13-year-olds, who would certainly understand their allergies by that age, and know enough to fend for themselves.

The rule treats teens like babies and lunch like crack. It also reinforces the lesson: Don’t do what’s right, do what the craven, liability-obsessed, compassion-free administration TELLS you to do.

For his part, Kyle said he would share his lunch again.

Of course, by then it could be prison grub. – L.

UPDATE (FROM THE COMMENTS SECTION):
In other news, Jesus and several disciples are facing legal action after distributing loaves and fishes to several thousand people last week. “You can’t just go sharing food,” stated one onlooker. “What if someone was allergic to fish?” Publishers of Jesus’ popular book, “The Bible” have stated that they will revise future editions, removing several passages that seem to  suggest giving food to the hungry. “You just can’t be too careful,” said a spokesperson for the publisher.

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131 Responses to Student, 13, Shares Lunch, Gets Detention : UPDATED!

  1. Warren September 23, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    Complete and utter CRAP!!!!!!!

  2. gap.runner September 23, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    Shakes head in disbelief at how crazy people are in the States.

    One would think that a 13-year-old knows what foods he or she can and cannot eat. Back when I was a kid, all of my friends and I would have received detention for sharing food. We were always trading items in our lunches and even eating things like (gasp! horror of horrors!) Ding Dongs. How did we ever survive?

  3. K2 September 23, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    I accidentally gave my daughter some peanut butter cookies last year and she wasn’t allowed to eat them. They were confiscated. She was not sitting next to or near the child that had peanut allergies.

  4. Stacy September 23, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    I told my 13-year-old about this story a few days ago and he laughed because everyone shares their lunches at his school, with less altruistic motives. Some kids have deals where one brings something homemade and the other buys food, then they swap, without telling their parents of course. Thankfully the district doesn’t seem to care. 13-year-olds can be trusted to know their own allergies and make sure what they’re eating is safe for them, and as for hygiene and 13-year-old boys…

  5. Karen Hyams September 23, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    I do not understand why people send their children to such awful places. I’ll bet most parents wouldn’t last a week in their kids’ high school.

  6. Stacy September 23, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    Regarding peanut allergies, we have peanut-free lunch tables and peanut-free classrooms when a young child in the class has an allergy, but no peanut-free schools.

  7. Sharon September 23, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    Sharing food is a middle school tradition. These kids know if they have allergies, braces, or family traditions vegan, vegetarian, no pork, etc. Let kids be kids. I know my daughter shares occasionally with her classmates and I encourage it. She will only get in trouble with the school security guard if they throw the food, don’t sit down, or are very loud.

  8. Jill September 23, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    “Of course, if students are concerned about other students not having enough to eat, we would definitely want to consider that.”
    Yes, I’ll bet they would. “Hello, CPS? We have reason to believe Johnny Smith doesn’t have enough to eat. Go pay at visit to his mother…”

  9. nina September 23, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    In my kids’ middle school sharing or exchanging lunch is an open secret. Officially they are not supposed to do it, but kids always find ways to share and not get in trouble. One of my sons loves Indian food, and one of his friends always brings to school homemade lunches. This friend would rather have pizza, so my son buys him school lunch and eats his.

  10. John September 23, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    This goes back to the modern day mentality of thinking that ALL children, no matter what the age, are either tender little snowflakes or are made out of balsa wood. According to this Stupidintendent A 13-year-old is too immature to understand that he’s allergic to something and regarding the safety and hygiene issues, apparently this Stupindendent also believes that a 13-year-old boy is so tender that his immune system would not be able to handle any type of bacteria or ward off any type of disease that a little bit of dirt might cause.

    Speaking of allergies, perhaps the reason so many kids nowadays have allergies is because they’re not allowed to play outside in the mud and the dirt which would impede allergies from developing in the first place. Then we lather our little darlings up with antibacterial soap so they won’t get sick and we forbid them from going barefoot, like we used to do as kids, when they do go outside. Heck, street children in the Philippines and India are probably healthier than our kids because they have such rugged immune systems!

  11. Marcie September 23, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    By 13 years old they should be very aware of their allergies, what they can and can’t eat and sharing should be their own decision. But I disagree with anyone saying that it should not be an issue to eat peanut butter as long as you don’t eat it near the kid with the allergy. My 9 year old has peanut allergy, she is great at checking foods, not eating something if she isn’t sure, but allergies can be severe enough that a speck of the offending item can cause a severe reaction, for some kids it is even the smell. Even teenagers can’t be trusted to always wash their hands, their faces and rinse their mouths. If it was your child that could die from this speck you would feel differently. It is irresponsible to mistakenly pack peanuts and then be disgruntled that they were taken away How would you feel if your daughter ate them then sneezed in an allergic child and killed them? I for one am thankful my kids school is peanut/tree nut free.

  12. Michelle September 23, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    Oh for crying out loud. A 13yo doesn’t know his own allergies? Doesn’t know to be careful eating foods made by someone else? And how does hygiene play into it? If a 13yo boy doesn’t wash his hands before he eats, does it really matter whether he’s eating his own lunch or his friend’s?

  13. Jenny Islander September 23, 2014 at 11:59 am #

    Good on Kyle for saying that he would share his lunch again. Keep it up, kiddo!

  14. Steve S September 23, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    What a stupid policy. I hope with all this negative attention, they seriously reconsider it. If not, then they need to admit that punishing this kid was way overboard. My daughters school has kids with peanut allergies, but allows kids to exchange food. She does all the time.

  15. lollipoplover September 23, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    A student who uses great executive function and gives up his lunch so another can eat, minimizes waste, demonstrates empathy and compassion for a fellow student is an example for ALL students.

    Food is personal. Not all kids who don’t have enough to eat want to broadcast their predicament to administration. I know for a fact my kids have shared lunches with friends who forgot or had overdue balances. My son was sent to the principal in 6th grade for sharing a cookie with a friend. This food nazi lunch police business has to stop.

    Treating burritos and cookies like they are weapons of mass destruction is idiocracy at it’s finest. I think a 13 year-old knows if the burrito is safe to eat. To hear this Superintendent say “… but because of safety and liability we cannot allow students to actually exchange meals” makes it seem like he is operation a prison cafeteria where sporks can be turned into weapons and gifted burrito is punishable offense.

    It’s just kids working out their own problems at mealtime.

  16. Marcie September 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    John,
    My kids have always played in the mud, ran around barefoot, and we have never used antibacterial soaps or hand sanitizers. I have one child who has lots of allergies, with peanuts being the only severe one. I feel there are many possible causes to her peanut allergies from the OB antibiotics I had in labour as I was group b strep positive (they test all pregnant women, many are positive at some point or another so they use antibiotics “just in case” to prevent the baby from the rare but serious infection. Also at 6 months of age after taking a plane trip and contracting a cold she developed an serious infection in one of her lymph nodes in her neck and required 2 weeks of hospitalization and several different types of antibiotics and surgery. Then there is always the link to over vaccinating (we vaccinate for things that are extremely rarely deadly or serious like chicken pox, the flu, and haemophilus influenzae) which I wonder about too as the HIB vaccine has been hinted at as a possible cause.

    I am not sure why/where she got her allergies and there is so much info out there so we may never know. But don’t blame parents, we did nothing different with our daughter than anyone does with their kids, and our other 4 children do not have the same allergies.

  17. bmj2k September 23, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    Let’s pretend for a second that the no-sharing rule made perfect, rational sense. How does the punishment fit the crime? Don’t stick the kid in detention. This is a school. Isn’t their main goal education? Just sit him down and explain the reason for the rule. Then compliment him for being so kind and sharing and send him back to lunch.

  18. SOA September 23, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    I do prefer kids do not share meals because of food allergies. But that is more for little kids that don’t know any better. My son with a food allergy knows not to ever share his food with anyone else or vice versa.

    Teenagers should be able to handle it though. The kids with food allergies still should not be sharing but if you know you don’t have a food allergy then there should not be a problem with sharing. My BFF and I used to get one tray and just share everything on it because we were not hungry enough for a whole lunch.

  19. Chris B September 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    So this happened at the school I went to as a child (and where my mother and many friends still live). When my mom posted this article on Facebook, I went into full blown Free Range mode. Heck, my kids trade lunch items all the time. But I got a call from someone who used to work that lunchroom later that night.

    Apparently it’s not really an allergy issue, it’s a bullying issue and a federal government rule issue.

    Bullying. There’s a pattern where kids are bullied to give over prize items from their lunches. They only have perhaps 2 monitors for hundreds of kids. After having parents storming the office demanding to know why their child didn’t get their Twinkie, school administration just made the rule – no trading, no sharing.

    Federal rules. Many students get free or reduced cost lunches. Federal regulations state that those students cannot share or trade their government provided/supplemented food with another child who’s not part of the program. They send auditors periodically to the school to check. If staff let the students trade most days but not when this stranger with the clipboard was in the room, kids would be vocal enough that the auditor would know. The school might lose government subsidies for those poorer children because they broke the rules.

    So….while I think the rule is Draconian, it’s not as cut and dried of a case as the article made it out to be.

  20. Gina September 23, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

    John: YES YES AND YES

    Marcie: I understand about your child’s allergies…and it’s true that we don’t know what causes everything, but for the most part….there are more allergies today because of the overly sanitized way people are raising their kids. Your daughter is an exception to this rule.

    As for sharing lunches in general….we all did it. We actually shared chewing gum (from each other’s mouths..a favorite exchange I recall: “do you have any more gum?” “No, you want half of this piece?”) We all survived it. It’s part of growing up.

  21. Nicole September 23, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    In other news, Jesus and several disciples are facing legal action after distributing loaves and fishes to several thousand people last week. “You can’t just go sharing food,” stated one onlooker. “What if someone was allergic to fish?” Publishers of Jesus’ popular book, “The Bible” have stated that they will revise future editions, removing several passages that seem to suggest giving food to the hungry. “You just can’t be too careful,” said a spokesperson for the publisher.

  22. lollipoplover September 23, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    “As for sharing lunches in general….we all did it.”

    It’s called resourcefulness. It used to be celebrated and encouraged.
    Now cafeterias have staff to patrol and enforce *violations*.
    All over a chicken burrito. Oh, the humanity.

  23. Roger the Shrubber September 23, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    Bullying. There’s a pattern where kids are bullied to give over prize items from their lunches. They only have perhaps 2 monitors for hundreds of kids. After having parents storming the office demanding to know why their child didn’t get their Twinkie, school administration just made the rule – no trading, no sharing.

    Now who’s the bully?

  24. Donna September 23, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Last spring when we had a house full of Girl Scout cookies thanks to my little Girl Scout, my daughter asked me to pack two every day – one for her and one for her best friend – and I was more than happy to oblige to get the darn things out of the house twice as fast.

    If your allergic kid doesn’t know not to share food by the time they get to elementary school, you have failed as the parent of an allergic kid. If your allergic kid doesn’t have a fairly good grasp on what they can and cannot trade by 8th grade, you have failed as the parent of an allergic kid.

    “for some kids it is even the smell”

    No it isn’t. While there are some very sensitive allergic kids, they do actually have to come in physical contact with the allergen in some way.

  25. Jillian September 23, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    Oh FFS..

  26. Emily September 23, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    >>Apparently it’s not really an allergy issue, it’s a bullying issue and a federal government rule issue.

    Bullying. There’s a pattern where kids are bullied to give over prize items from their lunches. They only have perhaps 2 monitors for hundreds of kids. After having parents storming the office demanding to know why their child didn’t get their Twinkie, school administration just made the rule – no trading, no sharing.<<

    That makes sense in theory, but most kids who are inclined to bully others, aren't going to be deterred by a school rule. I mean, schools also have rules against hitting, kicking, name-calling, teasing, stealing, property damage, etc., but kids who WANT to bully will do those things anyway, when the adults' backs are turned, or they'll find inventive new ways to get around the rules, which just drives the adults to come up with MORE rules. For example, when I was in elementary school, a lot of kids manipulated others with "If you don't do what I want, you can't come to my birthday party!!!" I think that might have given rise to the "Invite the whole class, or all of one gender, or you can't hand out invitations at school" rule. So, if the powers-that-be enforce a rule against trading and sharing in order to prevent stealing and extortion, they're punishing positive behaviours along with negative behaviours, and that won't ultimately help these kids to grow up to be good people. Besides, kids who really want to trade and share food (as well as those who want to steal and extort things from others) will probably find a way to do it when the adults aren't watching, especially if there isn't a lot of supervision in the cafeteria. Then, when something does go wrong, the school can just wash their hands of it by saying, "We don't have a bullying problem in our school. We have very strict rules against [almost everything]."

  27. Emily September 23, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    P.S., Hearing/reading stories of school cafeterias with hundreds of students, where it’s MANDATORY to go to the cafeteria at lunch time, makes me feel grateful that we ate lunch in our classrooms at the elementary schools I attended, and that my high school was open campus. I don’t do well with crowds (in fact, I suffer from panic attacks), and being forced to sit in a crowded cafeteria every day could have been disastrous for me. I wonder if there are any provisions made at these schools for students with similar issues?

  28. marie September 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    Thanks, Chris B. Federal rules make me think it is time for parents to simply send a lunch to school with each child. Long long ago, this was the custom and, even now, believe it or not, some of the weirder families still do that thing called “feeding their children.” Do I think some families would have trouble with that? Yes. Do I think other families would be willing to help out? YES. People are generally good.

  29. EricS September 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    Lol! I love the Update Lenore.

    Again though, this is another perfect example of an institution using children as a means to prevent any litigious blowback. Less to do with the children, who obviously – as Lenore mentions – are old enough to know what they can, and cannot eat. My 8 year old nephew has food allergies, and he always asks and/or tells people offering him food.

    This is just a stupid policy, made by stupid people. Ok, there is some legitimacy with this policy, but the way it’s being enforced IS STUPID. No common sense or reasoning behind it. Other than “it’s the rules”. A blanket one at that to cover their asses.

  30. EricS September 23, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    @Chris B: “After having parents storming the office demanding to know why their child didn’t get their Twinkie, school administration just made the rule – no trading, no sharing.”

    See. It’s mostly to do how the school LOOKS, than what is best for the children. You see this in many places, not just schools. A blanket rule so that they absolve themselves from actually doing something to fix the issue. They would rather just sweep in under the rug, and move on. “Educators”…bahahahaha. I know 7 year olds smarter than they are.

    @Gina: “As for sharing lunches in general….we all did it. We actually shared chewing gum (from each other’s mouths..a favorite exchange I recall: “do you have any more gum?” “No, you want half of this piece?”) We all survived it. It’s part of growing up.”

    Keyword “sharing”. THAT’s a good thing. A considerate and humane basic act that is taught to every children since the dawn of man. It is one of the reasons why, we as a species, has survived and thrived. Now people are pretty much saying “It’s BAD TO SHARE. And for doing a good thing, such as sharing, your going to get punished.”?? Idiots.

  31. John September 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    @Gina….Gina would you believe that back in 1970 when I was in the 9th grade, Mr. Cerny, who was the 8th grade Social Studies teacher and wrestling coach at our school, had a very innovative punishment for kids caught chewing gum in class (chewing gum in class was prohibited at my school). Mr. Cerny had a jar full of ABC (Already Been Chewed) gum sitting on his desk. For every kid he caught chewing gum in his class, the kid had to drop his gum in the ABC jar and then pick another piece of ABC gum from that jar and put it in his mouth and chew it for the rest of class. Today, if a teacher used that tactic, he’d get fired and then sued! In elementary school we had a teacher who made us stick the gum on top of our noses for the rest of the school day if he caught us chewing gum in class. He’d probably get sued nowadays for that too! This country has really softened our youth during the past 30 years.

  32. Warren September 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

    Chris B,

    Don’t care what the rationalizations are for the rule. It is time for parents and student to tell the schools to shove their beloved rules.

    I shared/traded food, my kids did/do. It is a part of being a kid.
    Hell, one time I asked my youngest why she didn’t eat the Dads Oatmeal cookies when she was home and if she didn’t like them I wouldn’t buy them for her lunches anymore. She told me to keep getting them, because her friend loved them and she traded for mini muffins, that her friend didn’t like.
    I was about to use adult logic and tell her, that we could just buy her the mini muffins instead, but caught myself. They had it all worked out, and who am I to argue.

  33. Emily Morris September 23, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    I suppose I could sympathize with the free/reduced lunch policy, though I can’t help but think there’s a better way to handle it.

    The policy is, for the most part, stupid. If you have a bullying problem, attack the bullying problem . If you have a government funding problem, attack that problem. But don’t use this scapegoat.

  34. AlanaM September 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    I’ve encouraged my sons since 1st grade to trade food. That is the fun part of lunch. Try and get something better! Just do it under the table (literally) because others are always watching.

    I can’t believe they still have this rule at the middle school level. If a kid that age can’t keep track of his own allergies, then he should be staying at home under a parent’s care permanently.

  35. EricS September 23, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    I’m wondering. If schools are already discriminating kids, buy these ill thought out rules. Why not just put all the kids with food allergies in one school, and kids with no food allergies in another. Problem solved. Oh, but wait. This has very little to do with the kids. It’s about how these administrators feel what is best for THEMSELVES. The true American way, watch your own back. Even at the expense of others.

  36. lollipoplover September 23, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    Chris B. said:
    “Federal rules. Many students get free or reduced cost lunches. Federal regulations state that those students cannot share or trade their government provided/supplemented food with another child who’s not part of the program. They send auditors periodically to the school to check. If staff let the students trade most days but not when this stranger with the clipboard was in the room, kids would be vocal enough that the auditor would know. The school might lose government subsidies for those poorer children because they broke the rules.”

    Government should not be in our school cafeterias. Interesting to consider the EDIBLE act:
    http://www.cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/craig-bannister/edible-act-prohibits-federal-lunch-extremists-dictating-school-menus

  37. Jill September 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    Lenore, thanks for the update! That was exactly my thought – what about the shame that hungry children feel? It’s often easier to approach a peer and ask for food than to tell a teacher that your parents can’t afford your lunch. Good for this kid for saying he’d do it again. His mom should be proud.

  38. SKL September 23, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    That boy should wear a t-shirt to school every day for about a month: “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.”

    And his town should give him an honorary award for not losing compassion in the midst of craziness.

  39. mystic_eye September 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    If this is about bullying slapping a bandaid rule about sharing lunches does not a bloody thing.

  40. Papilio September 23, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    Glad my schools never cared one iota what I had for lunch. No idea how allergic kids survived 😛

    @Nicole: I bet that horrible guy also gave his water-changed-into-wine to people under the age of 21!
    (And wasn’t there an OT story about eating bread that had fallen from the sky? How hygienic is desert sand, exactly? And what if someone was allergic to gluten?)

  41. Laurambp September 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    @Chris B.: ding ding ding. It absolutely has to do with federal policy and incentives that come with free and reduced lunches. That was my first thought when I saw the article. The bullying reason is just an excuse to say that they are “doing something” about bullying and also distracting from the federal policy reason.

  42. marie September 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    The policy is, for the most part, stupid. If you have a bullying problem, attack the bullying problem . If you have a government funding problem, attack that problem. But don’t use this scapegoat.

    Yes.

    The schools should be explaining the policy loudly and publicly so that parents understand that schools are being blackmailed into compliance. But no, schools like federal money…money that comes from the same taxpayer pockets as the state money and the local money. Instead of giving taxpayers the information necessary to fight stupid regulations, the school comes up with a bullshit reason for the no-trading rule.

  43. Maggie September 23, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    “A student who uses great executive function and gives up his lunch so another can eat, minimizes waste, demonstrates empathy and compassion for a fellow student is an example for ALL students.”

    Exactly.

    Instead, the school’s policy rewards waste, lack of empathy, and an uncaring attitude to society, while encouraging a fear of liability. “Don’t be a good and generous person, it could get you in trouble!”

  44. Lance Mitaro September 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    Complete and utter CRAP!!!!!!!

    Yes, but again we see the local school boards instituting these zero tolerance, “measures” not for the safety of children, but for covering the collective asses of the faculty should an incident occur. Again, there is nothing proactive or preventative about these insane policies, it’s all about looking good behind the microphone should something happen.

  45. Emily September 23, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    Another thing–when you think about it, the act of sharing/trading in the cafeteria is educational in itself. Sharing obviously teaches generosity, compassion, etc., but bartering at lunch time teaches other skills, like negotiation, and even basic math. I mean, suppose Joey wants to trade his Twinkie to Sarah, for a home-baked cupcake. The two children would have to agree to the trade, and figure out whether it was fair–eyeball the size of the Twinkie and the cupcake to see if they’re roughly equal, decide if it’s worth trading a homemade treat for a store-bought one, and so on, consider other things that could be added to equalize the trade (for example, a cupcake could equal a Twinkie plus a Pokémon sticker, or a Twinkie plus first serve in four-square at recess afterwards) and so forth. If you take that away from kids, you rob them of some pretty vital problem-solving skills.

  46. DIRK September 23, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    When I was a kid I remember the school encouraging trading things with friends. It was kind off a waste not want not mentality in the lunch room.

  47. hineata September 23, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    @Papilio – but the OT manna, always supposing it was actually bread, LOL, would probably have featured spelt, that ancient grain (because it is, after all, the Old Testament!), and that is supposedly okay for the gluten-intolerant :-).

    We have no sharing rules at my school as well, but they are not enforced as in punished – they mostly act as a quick way to pick up who is not getting enough for lunch/who is eating all their lunch at morning tea (a common issue for the five and six year olds 🙂 ).

    My kids regularly swap out my brownies for whatever shop treat I am too mingy to buy them – trading is good!

    The only health issue I could see coming up from this is where the kids are trading already half-eaten food, which we used to do on a regular basis and never hurt us, but in NZ anyway we had a few runs of Meningococcal disease over the past fifteen years (can’t remember which type now) and that was one reason for the push to stop teens sharing food, drinks etc. Do you have any icky diseases like that floating around?

  48. Emily September 23, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    >>When I was a kid I remember the school encouraging trading things with friends. It was kind off a waste not want not mentality in the lunch room.<<

    Another good point. Every parent has been frazzled at some point, and forgotten which kid liked mustard and which one didn't, or ran out of strawberry jam and had to put grape jam in the PBJ's, or whatever, which can result in a lunch that may be unpalatable to one child, but fine for another. Trading can help prevent food from being wasted, and kids from going hungry. Of course, if the item is legitimately disgusting, it might not even be trade-able (for example, one time when I was nine or so, my mom packed Cheez Whiz and pickle relish in mini pitas), but if it's just a matter of different preferences, or wanting some variety, there's really no harm, barring an allergy or a medical concern, such as Type 1 Diabetes. In those cases, though, the child knows not to trade or share food at school, so it really doesn't make sense to hold all the kids to those standards.

  49. SteveS September 23, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    Does anyone have a link to the law or regulation that says no sharing? This is the first I have ever heard of that and it clearly is being ignored in may cases if really is a rule.

  50. no rest for the weary September 23, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    Yeah, I was all for the “no sharing lunches” thing when the kids were little (<10), but middle and high school is not the time to forbid kids from making decisions on their own about food, even if they have anaphylaxis.

    The only case I have heard of in my country where a middle-school-aged child died from her allergies at school was in the cafeteria, where tongs that had cheese residue on them were used by her to serve herself french fries and she wasn't carrying her eli-pen and she perished.

    It wasn't about sharing or trading food!

    And it's actually QUITE RARE for a child to die at school from anaphylaxis triggered by food allergies. It's rare for anyone anywhere to die from that.

  51. no rest for the weary September 23, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

    “A call to the CDC press office revealed that the number of deaths from food allergies, as collected from 2.5 million death certificates across the country, is miniscule. Only eleven people died from food allergies in 2005, the last year for which we have data available. More people died from lawnmower accidents.”

    Full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meredith-broussard/food-allergy-deaths-less_b_151462.html

  52. baby-paramedic September 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    This madness with allergies has got to stop!
    (and before anyone harps on about “you don’t know what it’s like”, yeah, I do).

    The fact is people need to learn to manage their own allergies as far as possible. Just because your kid has an allergy doesn’t mean they are a special little snowflake who will melt at the slightest provocation. It just means they require some extra training before being let loose in the world.

    An eetsy number of children will require a completely free zone of their allergen. MOST WON’T.

    By creating “peanut free zones” without a kid with the actual allergy, we are lulling ourselves into a false sense of security “Oh, we are an allergy free zone”, when in reality people can be allergic to *anything*.

    Not one of my allergies appears on the “top ten” list, and three of them will kill me if given half a chance (I suspect there is also a fourth, but I haven’t retested that particular exposure to determine what set of that particular reaction, but let’s just say all three of the known life-threatening allergies were ruled out). And none of the three I need to ingest to have a reaction to.

    You know what is important? Not living in fear of the allergies. Get an action plan in place, take sensible precautions (don’t know what is in that cake? Don’t eat it!). Don’t live in fear.

    ~
    As to the boy in the story, sometimes doing right means going against the rules. Rules and common sense don’t always align. Sadly, when the rules are broken the consequences must be received, but over time we can hope to change the rules.

  53. baby-paramedic September 23, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    I do remember there was a meningoccocal outbreak when I was at school, and we were banned from sharing drinks then. Don’t remember not being allowed to trade food though. We were 6 at the time.

  54. everydayrose September 23, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

    I’m right there with you baby_paramedic. My daughter is 13 and has several food allergies, including a life threatening peanut allergy. She’s also been a vegetarian since birth. Even with this I don’t have any idea what she eats for breakfast or lunch on school days. She can either pack a lunch or take some of the money that I leave out for lunches. At 13 her food limitations are completely her responsibility and she does a great job asking questions and reading labels. After all, she’s the one who deals with the consequences and she has no desire to go into anaphylactic shock.

    And this freedom is hers even after she had an allergic reaction at school after trading food a few months ago. Somebody shared a cookie with her and even though it wasn’t supposed to have peanuts in it she reacted to something. She was fine but it was a lesson learned for her.

  55. Havva September 23, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    And here I thought my middle school growing up was draconian. (Okay frankly it was soul crushing). But at least we could share food. I distinctly remember an instance when I was feeling really down, and nothing was going right, and just to top off the awful I forgot my lunch. Well friends pulled together and each contributed a little, a slice of cheese, a few crackers, a few grapes, and bit by bit I was given a veritable feast. Like this, it was no huge sacrifice just a mundane act of kindness. But it was the very mundacity, that shored up my faith in humanity in the face of an inhuman system. A faith I lean on to this day.

    Sharing food is such a compellingly human act, to take that away is to add to the long list of ways our national obsession with safety and regulation shreds community and civility.

  56. SOA September 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

    Okay so instead of harping on the food allergy kids I guess now that the info comes out it is time to harp on the poor kids because that is mostly why this rule was put in place. All has to do with federal funding relating to the free and reduced lunch program. Funny I bet people will feel bad making fun of poor kids and their families but seem to have no problem making fun of kids with food allergies and their parents. Hypocrites.

  57. lollipoplover September 23, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    Dolly- Who is making fun of the allergy kids? The district states its own policies that students can have allergies other students aren’t aware of. Federal grant money comes with conditions too.

    How can you turn this post about a nice kid getting a detention for sharing a burrito into making fun of allergies and poor children? That’s cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. Please stop. Having a child with an allergy is hard, we know, you tell us on every board.

  58. baby-paramedic September 24, 2014 at 4:07 am #

    See, I think it is time we call out the declaration that having a child with an allergy is “hard”. That we should call out this insistence that all allergies are debilitating.

    Of all the possible conditions a child can have, allergies are comparitively *easy* (once you figure out what the allergens are of course, and making exceptions for the very very very few and far between people who do have it to a truly debilitating level).

    We have treatments that can easily be administered, goodness they are even working on cures. Avoidance of the allergen is easy enough in most cicumstances.

    Seriously, if you had to pick an issue for your kid to have, you could do immeasurably worse than allergies.

    ***Says the baby-paramedic who decided adequate breathing was an optional extra during peak-hour whilst crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, thanks to a cross-contamination issue from a teacup***

  59. SOA September 24, 2014 at 6:39 am #

    read the comments-about five people turned the comments into a make fun of allergy kids being special snowflakes.

    And no, there are plenty of diseases I would take for my son over food allergies because you can die in an instant if you ingest your allergen. It can happen that fast. Kids have gone from being fine to dying in a few minutes. I can pull up news articles saying so if you would like proof. Most diseases will not kill you in a few minutes out of nowhere. My other son has autism and while it is a life long condition and it can be dangerous, he won’t die if he eat a bite of something.

    Playing the lets compare which is worse game is stupid anyway.

    I did not bring up the food allergy bashing. It was already brought up before I even posted.

  60. Bill September 24, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    My son is in 5th grade, the last couple of years he’s had a friend in his class that quite frequently doesn’t have money for lunch, for whatever reason. So it’s the cheese sandwich for him.

    My son started asking of he could take extra food to share and of course we said he could. So the boy gets a good lunch most days. Before asking to take extra food my son had been splitting his lunch with the boy.

    They also had “pizza days” in their class a few times where the kids had to bring in money to get pizza. My sons friend didn’t/couldn’t bring in money so they had him sit there while all the other kids had their pizza. My son refused the pizza he had paid for and sat with his friend.

  61. Bill September 24, 2014 at 7:59 am #

    My son is in 5th grade, the last couple of years he’s had a friend in his class that quite frequently doesn’t have money for lunch, for whatever reason. So it’s the cheese sandwich for him.

    My son started asking of he could take extra food to share and of course we said he could. So the boy gets a good lunch most days. Before asking to take extra food my son had been splitting his lunch with the boy. I would have went nuts if they had tried to suspend my son for that.

  62. Lexis @ Babystuff.tips September 24, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    Detention seems an over-reaction. Surely if they have to have those rules, just explaining why they are in place would be sufficient.

  63. TaraK September 24, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    Once again, thankful that my kids go to a school with common sense. We do not have a hot lunch program, every child brings a lunch. Invariably someone forgets a lunch a time or two every year. The buddies in the class take it upon themselves to share so their friend doesn’t go hungry! It is expected! In fact, my kids actually enjoy forgetting their lunch because they usually eat better. : ) No, they don’t do it on purpose, They just don’t stress out about it. And no, I will not take a lunch up to school. I know they won’t starve and it is a good lesson to them to remember their lunch next time.

  64. Cynthia812 September 24, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    “Another thing–when you think about it, the act of sharing/trading in the cafeteria is educational in itself.”

    But Emily, we all know it’s IMPOSSIBLE for kids to learn anything outside of class time. That’s why we have to extend the school day/year and cut out recess and have fifteen minute lunch. And why people are so concerned about my homeschooled kids.

    Then we wonder why they lack executive function and social skills, and the schools implement classes to teach the unteachable (subjects, that is, not kids).

  65. Roger the Shrubber September 24, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    SOA – no one is ‘bashing’ the food allergy kids as special snowflakes. People are objecting to a bureaucratic overaction that is the result of their reasonable fear of litigation from hypersensitive parents who insist that all unreasonable measures must be taken to protect their food allergy kid. I’m sympathetic if your child has a food allergy that is truly life threatening. But it is an over-reaction to institute a blanket ban on the sharing of food because 200 people per year die from food allergies. And if the people who institute such policies are trying to use food allergies to hide the fact that federal policies prohibit the sharing of food that is subsidized, then your ire should be directed to the people who make, support, and enforce such rules instead of those who point out their absurdity.

  66. baby-paramedic September 24, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    Ah, I see the miscommunication now.
    I am not allergy-bashing.
    I am however calling out (“bashing” if you will) the ridiculous “allergy” policies present in some schools, whether they be present due to a school board wielding power, or an over-anxious parent. Most policies as they are currently implemented do not make it safer for a person with allergies.

    There are some good points they contain, but current practice (ie, the heavy focus on the exclusion of peanuts and other nuts whether or not a child with that particular allergy is present) is seriously flawed.

    Further, allergies are being used now as an excuse. In this case, the excuse given for punishing a 13year old is due to “children may not know other children’s allergies”, which is of course a concern… if Child A was forcing the food down Child B’s throat. By age 13 a neurotypical person should be capable of monitoring their own intake. This demonstrates, again, the flaws in the current implementation of allergy protocols.

  67. Dirge September 24, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    With rare exception, I ate Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches EVERY DAY in high school. I never once purchased a school meal. I would not have functioned well in today’s school system.

  68. brian September 24, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    I would line up parents and kids at the next school board meeting to speak in support of this kid and against the policy. After about 12 and a couple letters to the local paper, the school board will change the policy.

  69. Warren September 24, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    Let’s be straight about it. Kids with allergies are not snowflakes. They do have a condition. But it is their condition, and their responsibility.

    The SNOWFLAKES and just flakes in general, are the parents of said kids, and the administrations that cave to them.
    It is not the responsibility of the other students, and their parents to insure that their allergies are protected against. It is high time that people with special needs kids, learn to grow up, and take responsibility for their own.
    Yes certain accomodations can and should be made, to help those with special needs can have and enjoy an education.
    These accomodations should not and cannot be made by restriction, prohibiting or denying the rest of the students what would normally be theirs. That is just wrong.

    If your kid has that severe and allergy, then they shouldn’t eat with the rest of the students. No that is not discrimination. It is life, suck it up, and get over yourself.

  70. Jessica September 24, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    My own son has food allergies (4yo) to eggs and dairy. If he has either, he gets all kinds of itchy, his face poofs up and his eyes water. We’ve been lucky so far that none of the reactions he has had have hindered his breathing and a dose of benadryl calms it down. He’s not in school, but at church he had a reaction when some new people in Primary handed out goldfish. He’s old enough to know what he can’t have, but hasn’t learned to ask if certain items have those ingredients. Well, after we schooled the new people, I went to pick him up from his class and there was a sign saying no eggs or dairy products allowed. I took the lady who made it aside and let her know that wasn’t necessary, that being in proximity is not the issue, it’s touch (mainly in the raw forms) and consumption. He does need to learn what he can and can’t have, but since the last reaction (which t’d me off simply because his teacher knew better and still gave him food she shouldn’t have and then didn’t come get us when he started having a reaction…) we instituted our own ban, which is that he cannot accept food from anyone unless we’re around and say it’s ok. Fruit is a freebie, but anything else is off-limits. We’re teaching him as much as he is able to understand right now about what he can’t have, but we do not expect an outright ban simply because he can’t have it.

    Worst comment of all after the last reaction and they asked if he could have rice krispie treats and we said no and not to give him food anymore: “But I feel so bad for him when he doesn’t get a treat.” I replied “and I feel bad when he has a reaction and I have to dose him with benadryl and might have to use the epi-pen.” She paused for a moment then said “I’ll give him a sticker.”

  71. pentamom September 24, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    “Worst comment of all after the last reaction and they asked if he could have rice krispie treats and we said no and not to give him food anymore: “But I feel so bad for him when he doesn’t get a treat.” I replied “and I feel bad when he has a reaction and I have to dose him with benadryl and might have to use the epi-pen.” She paused for a moment then said “I’ll give him a sticker.”

    Were you interpreting that as, “If he has a reaction, I’ll give him a sticker?” Because I think she meant, “Instead of a treat, I’ll give him a sticker.” In which case I don’t think there’s anything objectionable about that at all. Not everyone is born understanding the issues.

  72. SOA September 24, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    Read the comments- this has zero to do with food allergies. Someone posted that it is mostly due to federal funding related to free and reduced lunches. So they are just using the food allergies as an easy scapegoat and look how everyone bought into it hook line and sinker. Because nobody wants to rail against poor families but everyone apparently loves railing against food allergy families. Its an easy target for some reason in their eyes.

    Personally I don’t think the kid deserves detention but I am okay with a no sharing policy if that is what they feel they need to do for whatever reason. Then just bring your own food and eat your own food. Even without food allergies I would tell my kids not to share food with others because I want them to eat what I packed them. If I did not want them to eat specifically that, I would have packed something else.

    Same with the cafeteria. If they did not want the kids eating the hot lunch meal that was served then they would have made something else.

    That is just my personal preference though. I don’t see it as some huge thing if they can’t share food and yes, I shared food as a kid but I would have been fine not sharing it too. It is just not a hill I am willing to die on so to speak.

    Aren’t most kids with money problems already on free and reduced lunches anyway? All they have to do is fill out the form. Every kid in our school gets free lunch and breakfast now because so many kids were already on free program so they just extended it to everyone. So no reason for kids to share then because everyone is getting food.

  73. Yocheved September 24, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    The update is CLASSIC! LOL! 😀

  74. Warren September 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    SOA,
    Safety and liability were mentioned in the video, by the school admin. Therefore it has everything to do with the fear of allergies. Don’t kid yourself.

  75. bobca September 24, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    I love the update from the comments section…great writing…great example.

  76. Shadow Flurry September 24, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    Oh my gosh Dolly, isn’t there an allergy parent forum where you can discuss this to your heart’s content, and everyone will agree with you?

    (and no, I don’t owe you an apology)

  77. SOA September 24, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    Shadow Furry: Where did I say you or anyone else owes me an apology? If you have to make stuff up that kinda reflects badly on you.

    I was pointing out that there were multiple reasons they did this and everyone was just jumping on the food allergy part of it and that is unfair. If you are going to bitch about that part and insult food allergy kids as special snowflakes, then you better start bitching about the poor families who can’t feed their kids too requiring them to have the free lunch program and if this kids parents had packed him a lunch this whole issue would have been a non issue. They failed to provide him with food. Maybe they need detention. But nobody wants to pick on poor people but food allergy people are apparently fair game.

  78. no rest for the weary September 24, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    “But it is an over-reaction to institute a blanket ban on the sharing of food because 200 people per year die from food allergies.”

    What if it were 11 people a year?

    ELEVEN.

    Maybe 13, in a bad year.

    And how many were children? And how many were children at school?

    It’s absolute insanity to forbid sharing food as a punishable offence. My allergic kid knew not to take food from anyone unless we were there to say it was okay. The end. Let the others share!!

  79. SOA September 25, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    You know this site is pretty biased, not one parent called out the boys parents for failing to provide food for their child.

  80. baby-paramedic September 25, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    Never forgot your lunch? That’s how most children I know end up at school without a lunch on a non-routine basis.

  81. Donna September 25, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Dolly, just stop. The SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT himself specifically states that the rule is due to allergies and hygiene, not because of poor people. Since everyone loves to pass the buck and find other people to blame, and really LOVE it if they pass that blame onto Obama, the federal government and poor people, if a federal regulation was really the reason that the rules exists, he would have said so.

    As for why the kid didn’t get lunch, maybe his parents didn’t get the email telling them that the money on the lunch account was running out. I didn’t at one point last year. My school was nice enough to send a letter home telling me that the account was overdrawn and my daughter would not be able to buy food at school until it was fixed BEFORE she was refused a meal, but other schools don’t do that and kids are surprisingly denied lunch. Technology is great … until it doesn’t work the way we expect.

    Or maybe he simply forgot his money/lunch. Or maybe this is a very recent money issue and he hasn’t been approved for free lunch yet. Or maybe he doesn’t qualify AND his parents still can’t always afford lunch.

  82. Warren September 25, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    Dolly,
    You wonder why some people take the snowflake route when it comes to allergy kids? Look in the mirror, and the way you are reacting. You are the problem, not the solution.

  83. SOA September 25, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Either way, if you don’t make sure your kid has food to eat that is a parenting fail.

    If we are going to criticize one person for something, we have to criticize everybody for their faults.

    And for the record, a lot of allergy families don’t ask for policies like the “no sharing”. The schools do that on their own to Cover their ass and everyone just blames it on the allergy families because we are an easy target. I certainly never asked for a no sharing policy at our school and I never will. I just make sure my son knows to never share food and he doesn’t.

  84. Donna September 25, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    And, Dolly, nobody is picking on the allergy people. We are attacking the overreaction and overreaching policies about allergies. Many schools, camps and other places slapped filled with kids run just fine without bans on peanuts or other allergens. Despite not having one at my child’s school, camps, extracurricular activities or YMCA not a single child has perished. There hasn’t even been a close call. And there are plenty of allergic kids in all these places.

    In fact, blanket bans make allergic kids less safe. People view it as nothing more than a stupid rule that has to be followed, rather than seeing an actual child that might be affected, because much of the time there is no such child attached. Our daycare had such a ban despite not having a single peanut allergic kid in the school (and everyone knew that because signs are on the wall listing allergies).

    On the other hand, people are generally more than willing to alter their behavior for a short period of time for an actual child at risk. This summer we got an email before gymnastics camp asking everyone to refrain from bringing peanut products for lunch because there was a child enrolled with a severe peanut allergy. Nobody complained and no peanut products were brought that week. One morning on the way to camp, my daughter ate toast with peanut butter and banana. Because of that email, I made her wash her hands and face before she went into the classroom. If this had just been a blanket camp peanut ban that always existed, I would not have done that. Putting a real child who is at risk into the picture makes people think. Blanket bans may make people follow that rule, but only because they are following a rule, and things will fall through the cracks. Hand won’t get washed. Less obvious sources of the allergen will get overlooked. Rules were get ignored because it is thought to be no big deal.

  85. lollipoplover September 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    “You know this site is pretty biased, not one parent called out the boys parents for failing to provide food for their child.”

    I guess I must be biased.
    I expect a 13 year-old to pack his own lunch or use his brain to buy a lunch that he will eat.

    I also don’t know how you go from food sharing to shaming someone for being poor (or blaming parents for being low-income) just because this boy bought lunch and didn’t want what he got and accepted the burrito he was offered.
    He may not have had money in the account. He may not have liked the looks of the mystery taco meat. Who cares!
    Food was shared and it shouldn’t be a crime.
    These kids are in 8TH GRADE.

    Have you ever been to a wedding where the meal you signed up for was not what you wanted to eat that night? Not that I ever have good wedding meals but I have happily swapped salmon with another guest who ordered the beef.
    I would love a chicken burrito at a wedding! There comes a time when we need to allow young adults to make reasonable choices.

    To blame this on the parents for not providing food is not only moronic, but it’s mean. And if his family is poor and he needs to be fed- please, please use tax dollars to feed him and others like him so he can get an education and break the cycle of poverty. Calling low income children “parenting fails” makes you a complete asshole, Dolly.

  86. Donna September 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    Well, Dolly, sadly parents are human beings who are very often less than perfect. They sometimes forget things. Sometimes rely too much on technology. Sometimes lose their jobs. Sometimes get ill have have to quit. Sometimes get pregnant before they are financially ready.

    But most humans are also empathetic and caring and more than willing to help out a friend, or even stranger. Glad there are more Kyle Bradfords in the world who would risk detention to share a burrito with a friend suffering through a less than perfect moment than Dollys who want judge them for simply being human.

  87. Roger the Shrubber September 25, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    Even without food allergies I would tell my kids not to share food with others because I want them to eat what I packed them.

    That’s some fine parentin’ there.

  88. julie September 25, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    LOL- I go into the kitchen the other night Miniature is making her famous rainbow salad..instead of serving out a single serving to put in lunch she is packing a fairly large bowl… I said “wow that is a big lunch” she replys “Oh it isnt just for me we decided to do a pot luck at our lunch table of dishes representing our heritage I am doing my rainbow salad to tie it all together get it?”
    she came home with some cool recipes and they had great time..i am sure if they had asked adults first they would have been told “no” but once they were doing it the powers that be just said ” why not.. it is cute”

  89. lollipoplover September 25, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    julie- That’s awesome. I want some rainbow salad!
    My 13 year-old goes through 2 large jars of pickles each week packing his lunches. I just thought he really liked kosher dills (who doesn’t?). Here he’s been bringing pickles in for his friends who love them (he’s the *pickle guy*). One of the teachers told me this at back to school night- she thought is was sweet. I think it is too.

  90. Papilio September 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    @Hineata: sorry, my knowledge of the OT (or NT for that matter) is roughly in this state:
    http://www.twodutchies.com/images/images/2012.03.12%2090%20mile%20beach%20003.jpg 😛

    Why would gov’t fubnding for lunches be a reason for this policy anyway? If x students bring a lunch everyday and y students don’t, then the school is roughly y lunches short. Who cares if those gov’t-provided lunches are really eaten by the same students that didn’t bring a lunch?

  91. everydayrose September 25, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    @SOA
    My 13 year old daughter went to school as usual this morning and about half an hour later I got a text from her telling me that she had forgotten to pack a lunch or to bring money to buy one. I responded that I was sorry about that and she’d just have to find a way to make do. She told me that she’d probably just make her friends share. She DOES have food allergies (including the dreaded peanut allergy) yet I just shrugged my shoulders and went about my day.

    I could have driven to the school to bring her a lunch or drop off some money but I didn’t because why should I? It’s not going to kill her to be hungry one day and maybe it’ll teach her to pay more attention tomorrow. Are you seriously suggesting that the fact I’m letting her live with the consequences of her actions is a parenting fail?

    If she were six or seven I’d probably drive to the school but at 13? Absolutely not. I provide food in my home and there’s money available for her to take. I’ve done my part and the rest is entirely up to her.

  92. Andrea September 25, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    So….why was detention necessary? Why couldn’t the teacher issuing the slip just remind him that sharing food isn’t allowed and why not? This doesn’t seem like a detention-worthy offense.

  93. not really SOA September 25, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    @Julie, lollipoplover
    Even if my kids didn’t have food allergies, I would tell them to refuse any food offered to them in kindness. If I wanted them to eat rainbow salad or pickles that’s what I would have packed in their lunch. They know not eat anything that I do not give them express permission to eat.

    @everydayrose
    If we are going to criticize one person for something, we have to criticize everybody for their faults. Your 13-year old left the house without a lunch or money for a lunch. She was forced to beg for food from other students who perhaps broke school rules by sharing their food. Parenting fail! Now everyone is blaming the food allergy families for the no sharing policies because its not PC to put the blame where it really belongs, on parenting failures like yourself and the poor families.

  94. Sigh September 25, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    What the? Never mind a n/t child. I technically wasn’t one of those and I still knew not to eat certain things by 13! Don’t think I knew the exact terminology but yeah, I knew that there were certain things that made life harder than it had to be.

  95. Sigh September 25, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

    Ehh…In Middle School, we had a rule that this thing one of my friends and I both really liked came with one turkey twizzler and one sausage.

    I didn’t like sausages and would much rather have two turkey twizzlers. Vice versa for my friend. I ended up eating her turkey and she ate my sausage.

  96. lollipoplover September 25, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    “They know not eat anything that I do not give them express permission to eat.”

    http://www.controllingparents.com/Signs.htm

  97. Warren September 25, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    @not really SOA,

    Controlling much? Your kids cannot eat anything, without your express permission? That doesn’t make you a good parent, it makes you a contolling bitch.

    As for your comment to everydayrose, you can shove it. At 13, if a kid forgets money or their lunch, it is not a parental fail. It is the 13 yr olds fault, and they can deal with it. And it is not begging for food. It is called being friends, and helping each other out. Have you never lent a friend or coworker some cash for lunch or anything? I know I have. It is what people in the real world call being nice. Something you know nothing about.

  98. Papilio September 26, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    @nr SOA: “Your 13-year old left the house without a lunch or money for a lunch. (…) Parenting fail!”

    Becauzzzzz… what? They didn’t do daily memory training with their kid to make sure she doesn’t forget anything, ever?

  99. SOA September 26, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    If you had a food allergy you would have that rule too about kids not being allowed to eat anything they were not given permission to eat. That is how you keep them safe.

    So first you guys say it is up to the parents and the kid to protect themselves from their food allergies. So we do that and have the rule “Don’t eat anything not from me because you won’t know if it is safe or not.”

    but then we get picked on for that too. So back to food allergy families are going to be picked on no matter what we do. Damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Sure a 3 year old who can’t even read yet should know how to read food labels and determine safe food for themselves right? Oh wait, they can’t. My 7 year old can read labels but he is a kid and might miss something and one mistake can kill him. It is that simple. So yeah, we have the rule, he does not eat anything that does not come from me, my husband or my mother first. Which he follows and that is why he has ever had an accidental reaction.

  100. SOA September 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Donna: where did I ever say I wanted a peanut ban? Show me. I don’t know what you are mouthing off about peanut bans. I never said a peanut ban nor did anyone else. We said there is a ban at this school about sharing food. Okay. Has nothing to do with banning any particular type of food and they said it was for hygiene, free lunch program federal regulations and food allergy reasons. So attack all three of those reasons.

  101. SOA September 26, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    Speaking of poor kids there are some kids in our school that those school lunches and breakfasts are probably the most food they get all week. They often go hungry at home. So if your kid forgot lunch money and then tried to get one of these kids to share food with him, that is a shitty situation because that kid needs that food. but they probably also want to help their friend out. So maybe that is another reason they don’t allow sharing food. It puts those kids in the situation to have to say NO to a friend or share the only good meal they are getting the rest of the day.

    Yes, a 13 should be able to pack their own lunch or get their own lunch money. But if they forget, I would think as the parent you would tell them they have to go hungry that day and not to try to mooch off other kids. That is communism right there. Making your mistake everyone else’s problem to try to fix.

    I pack just enough food for my kids in their lunchboxes. I don’t want them sharing with other kids nor do I think other kids should have to share with my kids.

  102. Warren September 26, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    ROTFLMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Dolly has gone right off the deep end. This is what a psychotic break sounds like.

    1. Yes, if your 13 yr old cannot make their own choices without your express permission on what to eat, then you are a lousy contolling parent. Lousy because you haven’t taught them enough to handle their allergy, and controlling because of your paranoia.

    2.”I pack just enough food for my kids in their lunchboxes. I don’t want them sharing with other kids nor do I think other kids should have to share with my kids.” This just screams control issues. And noone ever said that kids “have to share”, you idiot. Sharing by definition is voluntary. Otherwise it is called rationing.
    3. So when I loan someone money for lunch, or coffee or whatever, it is not being nice? No according to comrade Dolly it is communism.

    Dolly you are one sick sick person. And I thank God you are thousands of klicks away from us. No wonder your neighbours hate you.

  103. Donna September 26, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    Dolly, you have spoken repeatedly about your support for peanut bans. You bring up your son’t peanut allergies in every thread that you can possibly find some way to mention it no matter how completely unrelated to the topic at hand it is.

  104. Donna September 26, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    “If you had a food allergy you would have that rule too about kids not being allowed to eat anything they were not given permission to eat.”

    My child does have a food allergy. She has never had to ask my permission before eating anything. When she was really little, I would point out any items that she couldn’t eat. Now she knows to say “Is there any shellfish in this? I am allergic to shellfish” when faced with something unfamiliar that could possibly contain shellfish (i.e. dinner food).

    While I admit that it is easier to manage an allergy like shellfish than something more hidden like peanuts, my good friend did the exact same thing with his peanut-allergic child. That is actually where I got the idea.

    Now the band-aid allergy has been much more trying. She loves band-aids and would often rather be itchy than say no to band-aids.

  105. lollipoplover September 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    My kids have friends with food allergies and we don’t encounter any batsh@t crazy parents who try to control every morsel of food they eat.
    No Wire Hangers!!!!

    Meals are social occasions. Forcing your child to eat only what you give them and not wanting them to share is a serious control issue. What paranoia and eating disorders you instill in your own children by telling them that they can only eat what you give them because only YOU know if it’s safe.
    He couldn’t possibly figure out for themselves, at age 7, that an item is peanut-free and safe to eat?
    “Only eat my poptarts, junior. Your friend’s poptarts could kill you.”

    Hush now, baby, baby, don’t you cry
    Mama’s gonna make all of your nightmares come true
    Mama’s gonna put all of her fears into you

  106. Anonymouse September 26, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    It sounds to me like what is really going on is that the kid who got the cheese sandwich got it because his parents were behind in their school lunch payments. So the school punished the kid by malnourishing him. And they didn’t like some other kid nullifying their punishment. Worse, they didn’t like some other kid showing the human compassion which they themselves failed to exhibit.

  107. everydayrose September 26, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

    “If you had a food allergy you would have that rule too about kids not being allowed to eat anything they were not given permission to eat. That is how you keep them safe.”

    …what?? If you had read the last comment I made and directed to YOU, you’d see where I said that my daughter has a peanut allergy plus several other food allergies, yet I didn’t care when she told me that she’d make her friends share with her when she was the kid with no lunch or lunch money.

    But I guess we’re just communists anyway so what’s one more parenting fail huh?

  108. Reader September 27, 2014 at 3:33 am #

    When I first saw this I thought it might be reasonable… then I realised the “child” involved is 13! And presumably the student sharing lunch was a similar age. It might be unsafe for five year olds, but by that age, people are able to know their own allergies (if any) and whether it’s safe for them to accept sharing food.

  109. Emily September 27, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    >>Dolly you are one sick sick person. And I thank God you are thousands of klicks away from us. No wonder your neighbours hate you.<<

    But Warren, look on the bright side–thanks to the Internet, we have the option to communicate with people who live "thousands of klicks away from us," as you said, or to have virtually no contact with our next-door neighbours and family members. Twenty or thirty years ago, we didn't have that option…..so, why not just kick it old-school and ignore Dolly?

  110. tdr September 28, 2014 at 6:46 am #

    the allergy issue is a red herring — not the real issue.

    Does this school seriously have nothing better to keep an eye on in a middle school lunchroom? Is there nothing more “serious” than food-sharing going on? Why do they feel the need to control such an inconsequential thing?

  111. not really SOA (aka Roger the Shrubber) September 28, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    Warren, lollipop
    Check the handle and learn to recognise some blatant sarcasm.

  112. SOA September 28, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    Considering people have straight up lied to our faces about what was in something, yeah we don’t trust other people’s foods. Every friend I have who had an accidental allergic exposure was because they ate food someone else “Assured” them was safe. Happens all the time. So myself and several other families with food allergies I know have the policy to only eat food they prepare themselves or can read the label. Because people will unknowingly lie about what is in something or sometimes even knowingly lie to “test” to see if you are really allergic.

    Don’t believe me-google it. You will find tons of cases of this happening.

  113. SOA September 28, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Donna: Beep wrong answer. You are confusing me of someone else. I do not support 100% peanut bans because it creates a false sense of security and some parents rail against it and will blame the food allergy family when they may not have even been the one asking for it. I support things like food free or allergen free classrooms (not entire school, not cafeteria), hand washing, allergy free tables or stations and anti-food bullying policies. Big difference. My son sits with his class to eat lunch every day and some kids get peanut butter. They just sit on the peanut side of the table and he sits on the peanut free side of the table. Then everyone washes hands after lunch. Works just fine.

  114. SOA September 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    I agree with what TDR said. Middle schools around here at least are 100% about control (speaking of controlling). So if anything this is mostly to do with the whole “You are the student, we are the staff, you will do whatever we say when we say it and you have no input and even if the rule is stupid, you have to obey anyway.”

    I have friends with kids in middle school and they complain about this kind of stuff constantly. It was like that when I was in school. Arbitrary rules that kids have to follow and not following will get you in trouble. Trying to explain yourself or argue will do zero good. Parents or students. Been there done that.

    We used to only be allowed to sit 4 people to a table. Even if we promised and brought the chair back to the table we got it from. Even if there was plenty of room. Nope. 4 people to a table period. So then people would turn around in their seats to talk to their friends at the other table and they started yelling at us about that too. We are apparently not allowed to even control which way our necks turn. Swear to God. That was how controlling they were.

    ps-my son is not 13. He is nowhere near 13. He is 7. So at this point, he still checks about food through me. He is learning to read labels himself and learning to self carry and self inject epippens. He has not mastered it yet. Even when he handles it himself he will be taught never to eat anything unless he personally made it or he reads the labels of every ingredient. Because as I stated earlier, people that don’t deal with allergies have zero idea and will tell you it is safe. when it isn’t.

    I had a friend make a big story about how she is going to make safe chocolate chip cookies for my son. She made them JUST for him. I trusted her and let him eat them. Then I find out she used tollhouse chocolate chips. They are not safe because they are processed with nuts. She could have caused a life threatening reaction. She said she did not realize you had to check the label for chocolate chips. I learned the hard way after that never to trust people because they just have no clue. Her intentions were good, but intentions won’t matter if my son has an allergic reaction.

  115. Emily September 28, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    Dolly….that was nice of your friend, but you’re right; she should have checked the label on the chocolate chips. Since she’s obviously on your side, and your son’s side, though, have you thought about telling her which chocolate chips are safe, and making a batch of safe cookies WITH her, so she knows the whole process, from reading labels, to making sure the cooking area and tools are clean, etc.? Maybe Son could help too, and it’d be a nice bonding moment, and an opportunity to teach him about cooking, measuring, following a recipe, and of course, reading labels and taking ownership of his allergy.

  116. julie September 29, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    “They know not eat anything that I do not give them express permission to eat.”

    How sad… at 13 not only should your offspring be making their own lunches but they should be able to make decisions about what to eat. Controlling food for any reason other than health is sick on your part and can lead to disordered eating and food issues from your kids. Shared food experiences are an important social connection with people. My daughter has a project called “breaking bread” where she talks about family meals and bringing people together with common food and cooking. For you to isolate and control your children with food is a tacit often used by jailers and other people in power to exert power over victims.. ‘You will only when and what I say’ it is as evasive as you can be without actually being in the kids body… way to go mom!

  117. SOA September 29, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    Julie: if you are going to quote me do it correctly. My son is 7, not 13.

  118. SOA September 29, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Emily: I did explain it to her when I found out, but my son had already ate the cookies by then.

  119. lollipoplover September 29, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    “He is 7. So at this point, he still checks about food through me.”

    So a 7 year-old (even one who can’t read) cannot grasp that whole foods like apples, bananas, grapes, clementines, carrots, and other kid-friendly snacks are absolutely fine? Processed foods should be approached with caution, yes, I agree, but the majority of foods kids should eat have no labels. Are you telling me you make him paranoid about these perfectly safe foods, too?
    Eating Disorder. Look it up.

  120. SOA September 29, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

    Okay so all you could list was fruit.

    I am pretty sure fruit alone is not a healthy diet.

    I don’t think you proved anything there. Did you know even like Walmart brand shredded cheese is processed with nuts? I bet you did not know that. Cheese is not a processed food, but yet still not safe for nut allergies because it is packaged in the same factory.

    You would be surprised how many things are unsafe. Even the produce section of a super market is dangerous because they store barrels of loose peanuts and a fruit could have peanut dust on it.

    So yeah, you proved zero. Ask any allergist. They will tell you to read every label, every time. The only things I guess obviously safe are raw fruits and veggies. Anything else is suspect until proven safe.

    You can even have a reaction if someone uses the same knife to cut a piece of fruit, that they just used to make a pb sandwich and just rinsed it off instead of thoroughly washing it or the cutting board being contaminated.

    So no, even fruit is not necessarily safe. But thanks for proving my point that people that don’t deal with food allergies have zero idea what all we have to watch out for.

  121. SOA September 29, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    Oh and let’s see causes of eating disorders……..I looked it up. Food allergies not on the list. Oops.

    https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/factors-may-contribute-eating-disorders

  122. baby-paramedic September 29, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

    I think that is kind of my issue “even an unwashed knife can cause cross-contamination”, and it can. For most people with allergies a cutting board used several hours earlier won’t pose a threat.
    When people get worked up “omigod my child may die from an unwashed bench, ok, they have never reacted in such a circumstance, but it could happen”, people come to believe that all allergy-parents are being paranoid over-reactors, when in reality a tiny number of children do require the extra protection.

    Always reading the labels is a good skill. My favourite cereal I have enjoyed for years changed one of their ingredients, resulting in badtimes for me. That one caught me a little by surprise (admittedly, it is the only time it has ever happened).

  123. Warren September 29, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

    Dolly,

    You are definitely good for laughs. Thank you for always being able to make me laugh. I have never come across someone so willing to make a fool of themselves, while thinking they are about the smartest person around.

    Your obvious mental issues aside, you are good for laughs.

  124. lollipoplover September 30, 2014 at 12:12 am #

    Dolly, I am no expert on cheeses, but I’m pretty sure if you’re buying it from Wally World and its made in a factory, there’s a strong probability its processed…like most food at Walmart.

    As for fruits and cutting boards, why cut them up? My daughter and her friends ate apples they picked from our local orchard for after school snacks today- just wash and eat. Oranges and bananas can be peeled and eaten by kids. Why make this hard? Unless you want to make this hard to feel important and needed and get attention. Like bring up the peanut allergy in every thread…

  125. SOA September 30, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    You are talking about food that other people give my kids.

    So why are you asking me why I cut up fruit? You are not making sense.

    I typically don’t cut up a lot of fruit. It depends on the fruit and how it is being served. But I know how to safely serve fruit to my son.

    But you were bashing me for not trusting other people to give food to my son and that point stands. If they are serving cut up fruit, I would be a bit wary because I don’t know how they cut up said fruit and not sure if I would let him have it. I usually would unless there were a lot of peanut food being served too and then I would wonder if they used the same counter, knife, cutting board etc.

    But you were arguing why he could not take say an apple from someone and I was saying if said apple was cut up, there is a chance its not safe.

    And you failed to address the point that a person cannot live off of fruit and raw veggies alone. So yeah, not a lot of food he can eat from other people and guarantee it is safe without reading the label or observing how it was prepared.

    People do gross stuff. Like stick the knife they just made a pb sandwich with into the jelly jar instead of getting another knife. So now that entire jar of jelly is contaminated with peanuts. People do stuff like that all the time without thinking because if they don’t have an allergy to deal with, it does not cross their mind. I used to do it too. So that is why I really don’t trust other people and for good reason.

    I saw his own grandfather do the above thing and luckily I saw him do it and was able to throw the jelly jar away. If I had not seen him it could have ended very badly for my son as he eats jelly every day and it would have had peanut oil in it.

  126. Warren September 30, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    Dolly,
    Don’t be so lazy, buy real cheese and shred it yourself. A lot cheaper, and healthier.

    You really need to quit, because you are only digging yourself a deeper hole.

    The whole “making your kid beg” and “communism” comments only cemented yourself in the WhackaDoodle of the Year nominations.

  127. SOA September 30, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    Warren: the walmart brand block cheese is processed with nuts too. All of their cheeses are. So we get Kraft brand. No big deal. But the point is people that don’t deal with food allergies don’t probably realize that and he can’t look at a food containing cheese or sliced cheese on a platter and tell what brand of cheese it is. He would have to ask someone and either trust them and take their word for it or make them go hunt up the food package and read the label. Most 7 year olds are not going to be able to handle all that. I don’t even relish having to make people go dig out packages so I can read the label.

    So we just bring our own food and no one has to ask anyone anything. Easy peasy.

  128. Emily September 30, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

    Well, Dolly’s right about one thing–it’s possible for someone to, say, touch a piece of fruit with unwashed, or insufficiently-washed, peanut hands, and then absentmindedly hand it off to all the kids, including the allergic one. Suppose you were making PBJ’s for the next day’s lunches, or making a stir-fry for dinner, and your child and a group of his or her friends came in from outside, all wanting snacks, so you just quickly grabbed some apples from the fridge without washing your hands? Even if you couldn’t see or feel peanut butter/peanut sauce/whatever on your hands, there might still be peanut particles there, but that’s not something you think of if you’re not directly or indirectly affected by a food allergy. So, the risk may be bigger if it’s cut-up fruit or vegetables, but the risk isn’t entirely gone if it’s left whole. That said, the allergic kid could always ask, “Did you wash your hands?”; or decline the apple, or ask to get it him-or-herself directly from the fridge, in order to ensure that it’s safe. So, visiting, sleepovers, etc., can still happen, even if food is involved, if kids are taught to self-advocate, and to self-administer their Epi-Pens when needed.

  129. SOA October 1, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    Thank you Emily.

    Maybe they will believe it from someone else because when I try to explain this they just brush it off and ridicule it.

    My son has had sleepovers FYI at a friend’s house and at grandparents houses. He can have sleepovers anytime he wants. Often times the other parents are the ones too scared to have him over, not me. They are too scared about being responsible for him if he ended up having a reaction. But I offer to send food for him or go over with them what he can eat, etc.

    So I think that makes me more chill than them.

  130. lollipoplover October 2, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    “Even if you couldn’t see or feel peanut butter/peanut sauce/whatever on your hands, there might still be peanut particles there, but that’s not something you think of if you’re not directly or indirectly affected by a food allergy.”

    How did this thread go from chicken burrito sharing to peanut particle cross-contamination at the level of an Ebola outbreak?

  131. julie October 2, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    “How did this thread go from chicken burrito sharing to peanut particle cross-contamination at the level of an Ebola outbreak?”

    Because it is never about the ability for kids to come together and break bread together and share communally over food in a civilized responsible manner respecting their own boundaries… It is about what if the tupperware is harboring a trace of peanut scrap that kid two tables over may have reaction to. It Is always about the WHAT IFS WHAT IFS WHAT IFS.

    Just because you you are afraid doesn’t make you right.