Students cope with allergies and restrictions of all kinds


One of the signs posted around the school reminds students to stay mindful of potential nut allergies and discourages the consumption of such allergens in designated areas.

Logan Knatz, Staff Writer

Although many people may not be aware of this, there is a significant number of students in Schreiber dealing with food allergies.

It can be difficult for people to avoid their allergens at school, especially  if their allergies are considered less common.  The school does what it can to create an allergy-aware environment, but it is a very difficult situation to deal with.

People dealing with less common allergies seem to struggle the most. Although the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of allergies may be nuts or seafood, many people can be alergic to many different types of food. Some least common allergies can be types of fruits, or types of oil.

Many of these students feel excluded and ignored when it comes to Schreiber’s allergy policies.

“The school doesn’t compensate for less common allergies like mine.  They don’t seem to do much about other allergies either,“ said sophomore Robert Konoff in regard to his strawberry allergy.

However, the school does have a lot of ways with which to combat allergic reactions.

There are many nut-free signs posted around the school.  Schreiber makes sure that the school lunches do not contain any type of nut.

Although kids with less common allergies may feel a bit neglected by this policy, it is impossible to eliminate every possible allergen from the cafeteria. Additionally, the nurse’s office is equipped to deal with allergic reactions, should they occur.

“The school has my EpiPen just in case I need it, and they don’t serve any of my allergens in the cafeteria, but they should be better about what people bring in to the school because it could cause reactions for people who are airborne,” said sophomore Elyse Morales, who has a severe shellfish and nut allergy.

Many students order food from places outside of school.  These foods range from bagels to Chinese food, and could contain potential allergens.

Although the school does not serve this food, it does not mean that the students do not find ways to get it.

“I have to be mindful of food that is cross-contaminated by coming into contact with items that contain gluten, so I don’t eat school food. I typically bring lunch from home,” said junior Dillon Nissan, who suffers from a gluten allergy.

For those of you struggling with an allergy, maybe consider bringing your own food as well.

For those of you without allergies, being mindful of others while sharing food is very important.  Some people are not born with their allergies, so they may not be completely used to knowing what they can and cannot eat.

If you are dealing with an allergy and are not sure if you can eat something or not, don’t eat it. Better safe than sorry!

“I’ve seen people eating bags of peanuts,” said sophomore Madelyn Lavin.

“It’s really scary to think that a food that one person can enjoy could potentially kill another.  I don’t personally have food allergies, but I would never want to put anyone in danger.”

Unfortunately, not all students feel the same way as Madelyn.  Students seem to forget about the fact that many people are dealing with fatal nut allergies.  It is important for students to be informed about all of the possible dangers.

“We have many procedures put in place to help students with allergies but you can’t force them to follow the rules, “ said health teacher Ms. Patricia Kosiba.  “They don’t understand the repercussions if they don’t follow them.”

Food allergies are a serious issue in schools. Although most people are not dealing with an allergy, it is important to keep in mind that many scared students are.

So next time, while eating your peanut butter and jelly sandwich, consider the fact that there are multiple students who could run into severe problems if they come in contact with the sandwich.

Make sure to be extra careful when sharing food with an allergic student.  But most importantly, be aware and do not ignore this real and alarming problem.