Parents at Arroyo Vista Elementary School are going to have to get a little more creative than the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwiches they pack in lunchboxes.
Four percent of the school's students are allergic to peanuts, and school officials aren't taking any chances. Peanut butter and any other food containing peanuts have been banned from the South Pasadena, Calif., campus. School lunches, snacks and classroom treats will have to be peanut-free.
In a letter sent to parents, Principal Julie Jennings said that the new rules "may seem a bit extreme" and be "difficult to get used to," but that it was necessary to protect the 20 students who suffer from the potentially life-threatening allergy.
Some parents who are upset with the "no-peanut zone" say the chance of students coming in contact with peanuts accidentally is too small to keep all of Arroyo Vista's 550 students from bringing the nut on campus.
Some people who are allergic to peanuts suffer only a slight rash, but others can go into anaphylactic shock, which can cause death in minutes. School staff members have identified the allergic students and have been trained to inject EpiPen -- which counteracts the reaction -- if one comes into contact with peanuts.
-- Kimberly Edds