Mom wants peanut butter out of school

Grazia Cunningham's son is allergic to peanuts, and she wants them banned from school, Jan. 23, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Grazia Cunningham's son is allergic to peanuts, and she wants them banned from school, Jan. 23, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — More than 20,000 Portland students a day eat lunches offered at their schools. Among the staples offered are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Many schools have a peanut-free zone in the cafeteria for kids with severe peanut allergies. But at the Beverly Cleary Fernwood campus, the cafeteria is gone.

Grazia Cunningham said her 7-year-old son’s classmates, teachers and school staff do a great job trying to keep peanut products out of the room. Her son and others are allergic to peanuts.

But she’s angry the district won’t ban the premade PBJs from this school when the kids are forced to eat in close quarters.

She said the district told her the sandwiches are popular and easily identifiable.

A group of parents at Beverly Cleary are working on a petition to ban peanut butter at the school.

In Beaverton and Hillsboro, the districts provide Smucker’s Uncrustables – a pre-packaged PBJ completely contained – for school kids. Hillsboro sometimes offers sealed up cups of peanut butter.

Those districts work to protect individual kids with allergies by having some peanut-free zones and classrooms.

KOIN 6 News found one district that is totally peanut-free: Tigard Tualatin School District.

Portland School Board member Steve Buel told KOIN 6 News he was “referred to a lawyer” when he tried to get PPS to ban peanut butter in the district.

Other board members believe there are enough safety precautions in place to protect kids.

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