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Monday, February 5 12:00 AM ET

California School District Bans Peanut Products in Students' Homes

By Brian Briggs

Los Ranchos Huevos, CA - First it was a smoking ban and now it's peanut butter. Many schools around the country already ban students from bringing in peanut products inside the school to keep students with allergies safe. Now a California school district has gone one step further and banned peanut butter in the homes of students.

Banned Peanut ButterThe death of fourth-grader Carmen Legosa during home room last yer prompted the ban. She went into anaphylactic shock after she brushed crumbs off the chin of a classmate who had peanut butter toast for breakfast. The Los Ranchos Huevos district school board passed the peanut butter in the home ban by a vote of 7-2.

School board member Maurice Skinder voted for the ban. He said, "Our first concern is the safety of the students. We have several students with peanut allergies and we don't want another death on our hands. And it's not just sloppy eating we're concerned with, what if some kid comes in with peanut butter breath and sets off a chain reaction of hives?"

The ban outraged many parents. "The school has overstepped their authority. They can't dictate what we can and can't eat in our own home," said Bob Parkinson, whose daughter Cynthia attends third grade at the school. However, in California school boards have been given special legislative powers to combat gang violence. The Los Ranchos Huevos loosely interpreted this statute to ban peanut products.

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The ban has a phasing out period where parents have time to empty their home of peanut-based products. During this two-month period, parents must clearly label their students with a sign declaring them as being from a "Peanut Home" until their house is completely cleared.

Students accepted the decision with resignation. "I'm just glad I like Reese's Tofubutter cups," said one student.

Board members voted down a proposal that would have required students to attend school in a hermetically sealed "hamster bubbles" five to four.

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