Bullying is a big topic in schools and the media alike. In my own little corner of the world, I know my daughter and I have to review and sign her elementary school’s anti-bullying policies and safeguards document every fall, as do all of the other kids and parents. Taking a few minutes to read over this document, discuss what bullying is and how it impacts people, remind kids of the consequences, and talk about constructive ways to help prevent bullying and support other kids is definitely worthwhile in my book. This last time, it actually led to a really interesting conversation with my 9-year-old 4th grader about how she perceives other kids, what she does in social settings when she feels bullied or sees that type of behavior.
The thing is, bullying isn’t only about social behavior and feelings, which are in and of themselves very serious issues. Bullying can be also physically dangerous, and this is highly apparent and concerning when kids have food allergies. According to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education, Inc.), approximately, “...a third of kids with food allergies report that they have been bullied specifically because of their allergies.” Even worse, sometimes that bullying includes use of the food allergens themselves. FARE’s “It’s Not A Joke,” campaign features two stories from young men who, as kids, were threatened with allergen exposure as a form of bullying.Read More