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Should peanuts be sold at high school ball games?

Staff Report • Oct 14, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Johnson City school officials have formed a committee to address the sale of peanuts at Science Hill High School games. In particular, the panel has been charged to examine issues raised by the parent of an 18-month-old infant with severe peanut allergies who has asked the Science Hill High School Band Boosters to stop selling shelled peanuts at Kermit Tipton Stadium. As Press staff writer Nathan Baker reported last month, the Johnson City Board of Education took up the issue after Director of Schools Richard Bales told members a parent had expressed concern about peanut shells at the stadium after the Hilltoppers’ first football game of the season.“I think the biggest concern was that people toss down the peanut shells because they don’t know what to do with them, so they’re all over the stadium,” Bales said. “If you have a child with peanut allergy, I can understand how serious that is.”School board members, however, said they were hesitant to ban all peanut sales at Kermit Tipton Stadium for fear it could harm the fundraising efforts of the marching band, which depends on concessions sales to fund many projects. “I talked to one of the band boosters, and it is a large part of their funding, and they have some product now, so if we’re going to change that policy, they asked that we let them know,” Board Chair Kathy Hall said. “A lot of people want peanuts and Coke, and if you tell them you don’t have peanuts, they will walk away without buying anything.”Some might call it a trivial issue. Given all the weighty issues educators must deal with today — teacher evaluations, Common Core and funding priorities, just to name a few — there are those who wonder if school board members should be spending this amount of time discussing peanut sales.Others, however, believe it is a very serious issue. In fact, parents with children who have a life-threatening peanut allergy say it is literally a life and death issue.We’d would like to hear what you think. Should the sale of peanuts be discontinued at Science Hill High School football games? You can Sound off on this matter by sending your comments to Mailbag, Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717, or mailbag@johnsoncitypress.com. Include your name, telephone number and address for verification. We will print your responses on Opinion pages in the coming weeks.

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