We continue to cater to the ignorant.
The proof is in Pasadena, CA where Julia Jennings, the Principal of Arroyo Vista Elementary School, has officially banned peanuts and peanut products because 20 of the school's 550 students suffer from peanut allergies. Should they eat, come into contact with, or even look at a peanut for too long, they will die.
This allergy is by no means the fault of the students affected. They can't control what they are allergic to. However, as the article (link deleted 'cause it's dead) points out, the remainder of students may suffer from allergies caused by things such as strawberries, dairy products or wheat, yet nothing seems to be done to protect them. Hell, I'm lactose intolerant myself but I drank my milk like a good little soldier all throughout my grade school years.
Now here's some stats for you:
Americans suffering from peanut allergies: 1.5 million.
Americans suffering from lactose intolerance: 30 to 50 million.
While lactose intolerance won't kill you, it can still cause a reaction in people that is, well, not the best thing a human being can experience. And the best way to avoid a reaction? Don't consume milk. Not hard. Don't come into contact with peanuts. Not too hard, either.
Yet we continue to serve milk in schools.
This, my friends, is called "selective enforcement". Let's protect those 20 students whose parents aren't bright enough to educate their children on the dangers of consuming peanuts or peanut products, or to avoid said products at all costs. It's much easier to inconvenience the other 530 students and parents who now have to pack different sandwiches into their kid's Britney Spears lunchboxes.
But there's even more good news for LI students at Arroyo Vista Elementary! Check out the school's menu, albeit from May 2004:
(Image lost because PhotoIsland sucks ass.)
Just about all of the entrees include a dairy product, whether it be cheese or yogurt. Nice going, guys. I hope a good portion of your school budget is slated for purchasing cases of toilet paper because with that menu, you're going to need it.
And I don't know about you, but when I was in school nobody I knew of had an allergy to peanuts, nor did we ever see anybody having a reaction to them. Maybe it was because back then, our parents knew better than to serve us a heaping spoonful of death between two slices of bread with the crusts cut off.
But I guess times were different back then. We never wore helmets while skateboarding or biking (now required). We drank sodas with saccharin (now defunct). We got our asses whipped when we did something wrong (an action that could get you thrown in jail these days). But you know what? We turned out alright.
Let's not ban such things as scissors which, in the hands of anybody at any point in the history of mankind, can be a lethal weapon. Sharpened pencils? Nah. Kids never poke themselves with those or accidentally inject themselves with pencil lead.
Why not ban oatmeal cookies? I remember hearing a story of a food fight years ago where a kid took an oatmeal cookie to the eye and it caused him to go blind. Whether it's true or not is not the case. The point is that anything has the potential to cause bodily harm, or even death.
No, let's fight the real enemy - peanuts.
And it seems that Principal Jennings would rather protect the 20 little crusaders who will never know the joys of biting into a Goober Grape sandwich, while her school's diarrhea-enducing menu will continue to dehydrate those students whose digestive systems can't handle the diary content of the menu.
I think I hear a toilet flushing.