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PB&J Ban At Arkansas School District Sparks Facebook Movement: School Nut Ban Discussion

An Arkansas student was not allowed to eat his peanut-butter and jelly sandwich at lunch due to a ban on peanut products at his school. The Viola School District's self-imposed rule is currently causing an increasingly heated debate on Facebook over lunch and child safety rights.

By Bobby Pollier, EnStars on Sep 17, 2012 11:07 AM EDT
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Peanut Butter
Controversy has struck as an Arkansas school district has a ban on peanut products in their lunchrooms. (Photo : Reuters)

An Arkansas student was not allowed to eat his peanut-butter and jelly sandwich at lunch due to a ban on peanut products at his school.  he Viola School District's self-imposed rule is currently causing an increasingly heated debate on Facebook over lunch and child safety rights. 

According to Area Wide News, Jenkins Clifton-Jones, who brought the brown bagged food, had his peanut based sandwich confiscated by a teacher.  The faculty member then sent him home with a written note elaborating on the district's no-peanut products policy.

It is reported that the ban on the peanut based products has now been enforced for six years and was designed to aid students with severe allergies who can suffer simply by breathing near the nut. 

Viola School District Superintendent John R. May spoke about the rationale behind the controversial policy.

"The policy is in place to protect those with a severe, life-threatening problem. Until we figure out something else, it would be foolish to drop the policy."

Denise Clifton-Jones, the child's mother, had discussed her feelings on Facebook over the respective ban. 

"There are so many allergies to many kinds of healthy foods.  Just because a few children are allergic to something is no good reason to ban all kids from eating their favorite foods.  Public schools should try to accommodate all kids to the best of their ability, not accommodate a few at the expense of the masses."

The reaction she received on the social networking site surprised her and turned into a movement.  The result was a Facebook page titled "School Nut Ban Discussion," which includes postings ranging from parents of allergic children to upset individuals of freedom. 

Although the discussions on the peanut ban topic have become heated, a "no naughty language" warning was issued.

Superintendent May claims that he had only received one negative comment about the rule until the recent public outcry.  At a recent school board meeting, he stated that the district's Wellness Committee will evaluate the current policy and will open the floor to public concerns in order to determine if changes should be implemented.

"Until we figure out something else, it would be foolish to drop the policy," he said to the news site.

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