Just Say No
“In eighth grade, a boy told me he was going to put chicken on my plate when I went to the bathroom and that he wanted to see me swell up when I came back. I got really mad at him and then went to tell a teacher. The boy was suspended and had to write an apology for teasing me.
“It’s frustrating when people don’t understand the severity of food allergies and how life-threatening they can really be. When someone teases you, it’s very important to take care of the situation, to let these people know that what they are doing is wrong, and to find a way to make them stop. If you succeed, then you will create a healthier and safer environment to live in.”
By Sarah, age 14. Allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, and others.
“During the spring of my freshman year, I had an allergic reaction at school. I was rushed out of school by ambulance. The next day at school, most of my classmates were very concerned about me. There were a couple of kids, however, who thought being taken out of school by ambulance was overly dramatic. They kept on calling me a drama queen because of that. I knew that they did not understand what happens to me during an allergic reaction, so I ignored them and went on with my day.
“Food allergy is something that makes us who we are. There is no shame in having an allergy. There will be people who will make fun of us for not being able to eat the special treat at a party or for having to bring our lunch to school, but they are just insecure. We should not let the teasing hurt us or get to us. Having a food allergy is something that is unique to us, and we should be confident in dealing with it. Even if people tease us, we shouldn’t let it bother us. If we ignore them, the teasing will eventually go away.”By Abby, age 16. Allergic to tree nuts and eggs.