Sending Office: Honorable Matt Cartwright
Cosponsor the ALLERGY Act Today!
116th Endorsing Organizations: Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) and Allergy & Asthma Network
Food allergy bullying is a pervasive problem across our nation’s schools. About
8 percent of children (5.9 million children) in America live with food allergies, with roughly one-third of these children reporting that they’ve been bullied because of their allergies.
Unfortunately, because many people do not understand the potentially deadly nature of this disease, what can be seen as just a prank can actually be very dangerous. In June 2013,
The New York Times highlighted this issue, noting that “classmates may prey on this vulnerability, plotting to switch a child’s lunch to see if she gets sick, for example, or spitting milk at a child’s face and causing a swift anaphylactic reaction.” It
only takes one incident to send a child with a severe food allergy to the hospital. Even if an incident doesn’t prompt an allergic reaction, just the fear of bullying can lead to anxiety, depression, and embarrassment.
At least 20 states have
guidelines for management of food allergies in schools, and many tackle allergy bullying specifically. Nevertheless, many schools do not do an adequate job educating students, parents, and staff about this issue.
The Alerting Local Leaders and Ensuring Responsible Guidelines for Youth (ALLERGY) Act would require schools to:
- Educate students, parents, and school personnel about allergy bullying;
- Define the punishment or response for violation of school allergy bullying rules; and
- Establish policies and procedures that encourage victims of allergy bullying to report such incidents to school personnel.
Education and specific guidelines to address allergy bullying are the keys to protecting our students. The
ALLERGY Act will ensure that students with food allergies feel safe and secure in their educational environment.
For more information, or to become a cosponsor, please contact Kaylee Robinson at x55546 or
Member of Congress
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