GRANGER, Iowa -- Four-year-old Kendrick Ogden knows exactly what could happen if he is exposed to peanuts. "Make me die." he says.
In fact, Kendrick's mom says he almost did die when he went into anaphylactic shock after eating peanut butter when he was just one-year-old. He is so sensitive to peanuts, he has to carry an Epi Pen and other medication everywhere he goes. So Kendrick's mother wants his school, Woodward-Granger Elementary, to require all kids to wash their hands when they walk in the building and before and after eating. She also wants his classroom to be 100-percent peanut free, and a separate table for kids who bring lunches from home so Kendrick isn't accidentally exposed to peanuts.
"Life threatening peanut allergies are a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the school has to make reasonable accommodations," says Kendrick's mother, Laura Coleman, "If he were in a wheelchair it would be completely different. They would not be hesitating to make any kind of accommodations for his needs."
But Kendrick's mother says the district is hesitating.
"This isn't...he's gonna get a tummy ache. This isn't he's gonna get hives on his arm. This is me putting my child into a casket and putting him into the ground," Coleman says.
Superintendent Brad Anderson tells us peanuts and anything related to peanuts are banned from the schools. But items where the label says "May contain peanuts" are allowed. "That's the one that everyone is up in arms about," says Anderson, "As a district we decided to go ahead and serve that in the classroom at this particular point."
Anderson says the district does all it can to prevent kids with peanut allergies from being accidentally exposed, but "You never know what's going to walk in your door in the morning. It could be on a student's bag. It could be on the bottom of their shoe." Anderson adds, "Are we ever going to be able to eliminate them all? No. Unfortunately."
Kendrick's mom knows some people will say, if you're that worried, just home school your son. "My response to that is always, if you want your child to be able to eat peanut butter or whatever, whenever they want why don't you just home school?"
The school board will meet Monday to discuss the issue.