Monday, October 20, 2008

With Peanut Allergy, Knowledge Is Power…for Bullies?

By Sean Kelley

In junior high, I was every bully’s fantasy: awkward, short, pudgy, and dressed in ill-fitting hand-me-downs with a curly perm, braces, and glasses. I was the butt of jokes—routinely cuffed, tripped, and otherwise humiliated in between classes and after school. (If you’re looking for the part where I stood up for myself, it’s missing; I eventually transferred to another school where I apparently appeared less geeky.)

Having firsthand knowledge of how cruel kids can be, I cringe when I look at my son, Graeme, whose allergies to food—peanuts in particular—make him vulnerable to horrible pranks. He doesn’t turn 2 for a couple of weeks, but I’m already picturing the teenage angst and middle-school high jinks he could fall victim to. Why? I keep reading about it in the news.
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