Michigan school board member regarding kids with food allergies: ‘Just shoot them’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 25, 2014)-- Questionable comments about food allergies made by a school board member in Michigan leads to resignation.

The comments at issue took place during a videotaped public school board meeting on Nov. 10, 2014, during a discussion about food and students with food allergies. A Clawson Board of Education member is recorded saying, when referring to students with food allergies, “Well you should just shoot them.” You can see the video at the bottom of this story.

Food Allergy Research & Education, the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to food allergy, says her comments "are egregious and unacceptable. Food allergy is a potentially life-threatening disease that affects 15 million Americans," FARE website.

One in 13 children in the U.S., or roughly two in every classroom, has at least one food allergy. Studies show that about 40 percent of these children have already experienced a severe reaction such as anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening.

Camby mom Kristen Brown leads the Indianapolis chapter of FARE.

Brown's daughter, Kylee, is deathly allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.  Brown says comments like the one made at the Clawson School Board meeting trivialize food allergies.

"If someone is around the wrong thing or eats the wrong thing that they are allergic too that could potentially be fatal to them. It is not funny. It could potentially end a life," Brown said.

At Kylee's school in Martinsville, the sixth grader eats lunch every day at special tables marked for kids with peanut allergies.

"Food allergies are not a personal preference for these children. In society and this day and age we have so many kids that do have allergies and it must be taken seriously," said school nurse Annette Rohlman.

The superintendent of Clawson Public Schools notified FARE on Tuesday afternoon that the Board of Education member who made the comments in question has resigned effective immediately.

Click here for more resources on food allergies.

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