An open letter to Petal Schools

By LETTER TO THE EDITOR,

Dear Editor:

As students of Petal High School, we would like to advocate for the banning of the presence of peanuts and peanut containing products on Petal School District campuses because of the dangers they present to select students and faculty.

Health should not and can not, under federal and state law, be a bar to a student’s ability to succeed in our public school system.

One of our school’s brightest students continually faces life threatening allergic reactions in an environment guaranteed by federal law to be a safe place for students.

The status quo is both illogical and illegal.

Though few students on our campus have allergies as severe as this particular student, studies indicate that rates of life threatening allergies in school age children are on the rise.

This year, a report from Blue Cross Blue Shield estimated that more than nine million children ages eighteen and under have been hospitalized for anaphylaxis related to allergic reactions.

School faculty members should be trained on how to give EpiPen injections and how to appropriately react in the event of a reaction.

In this day and age, there is no reason why students should have to fear for their lives stepping into any public school.

We acknowledge that a ban on all peanut containing products may seem rash to some people, but we contend that all students should have equal opportunity to finish their studies.

If this school district truly aims to “empower all students to thrive” we implore this community to take decisive and unobtrusive actions to ensure the health and safety of all of the students with various allergies that reside in it.

Logan Baggett,  Jericho Gardener, and Corban Tew

Petal, MS

Baggett, Gardener, and Tew are all students at Petal High.