Saturday, September 15, 2012

PB & J Sandwich- Banned At 2 Schools

The poor PB & J (peanut butter and jelly) has been getting a raw deal recently. In the past week the much maligned sandwich has made the news- twice. Once for its racist connotation (really), and the other for its ability to send some people into severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), even if they aren't the ones eating it.

Let's see how it came to be considered racist:

A lunchtime staple of students for years, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich could be considered one of the more popular items found in the sack lunches of school children.
But in conjunction with recent equity training in local Portland schools, one principal is raising questions about the mention of the sandwich, arguing it has broader implications about race, the Portland Tribune reports.
The sandwich was reportedly mentioned in a lesson plan last year. Verenice Gutierrez from the Harvey Scott K-8 School used it as an example of a subtle form of racism in language, according to the report.
“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” Gutierrez said, according to the Tribune. “Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”

 Read the rest here.

Then it was banned at an Arkansas school for a totally different reason, and some people are hopping mad about that.  Apparently, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was snatched from a hungry child's hand because it might cause an allergic reaction in other students sitting nearby. Well, maybe not quite snatched- and the kid was given other options from the school cafeteria- but same thing. The school has a "nut" ban in place, that the parents obviously had no clue about, so the kid was sent home with a note explaining the ban.

A Facebook page called "School Nut Ban Discussion" was created by the parents who were at odds with the school's policy.
In a Friday post on the FB page, one parent alleged that the Arkansas school created a "no-peanut-policy" on its own and only shared the rule verbally with a few parents at a meeting.
The post read:
"The Nut Ban is an Administrative Policy, not a School Board Policy. It is not in the Student Handbook, nor in the School Board Policies Handbook. Parents that were unable to attend Viola's Open House did not hear the verbal made at the Kindergarten meeting. I can speak for the packet sent home with one 1st grade class that there was no information about the Nut Ban."
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich bans are nothing new in many schools across America. However, this recent case gives rise to concerns parents have over nut allergies and school intervention.

As per usual, you have the parents who are happy about the decision, and others who are not.  Supposedly the only thing some children with autism will eat is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Who knew.

Read the rest of the story here.

I can understand the concern of the parents of kids with allergies, but banning the mention of the word because it's racist?  Good grief.  What next?

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