So this is apparently a thing. Bullying kids who have food allergies. I got this note from the lovely people at Food Allergy Research & Education where they filled me in on the sad fact that about a third of kids with food allergies say they’ve been bullied, specifically because of said food allergies. Then I watched this PSA they sent me, and I cried a little.
And then, I read over at Gluten Dude, that one of my daughter’s most favorite Disney shows, Jessie (don’t judge), had a weird gluten bullying scene as well. Not nice, Jessie. Not nice. (Although I will say, in my own defense and the taste of my daughter—I always said that little pancake throwing girl on Jessie was a bad example of a decent human being. Since when did a sassy grade schooler become cute and not totally obnoxious? Okay, I’ll go sit back in my Barcalounger now and watch my stories.)
I mean sure, I’ve had people say annoying things to me. Things they thought were funny. But I know what’s funny, and what’s not. I mean, gluten is my bitch and all. But I’m an adult. A “grown ass woman” as it were. Where do people get off bullying kids? I realize bullying is a problem, and not just for the food allergic.
I also get it that if kids see a “thing” perceived as a weakness, they latch onto it and come up with five million ways to make fun of Hey, it’s May! You aren’t supposed to be here/April’s a Fool/Pee-on-my-toe and so on. But this seems extra crazy to me. You know, since sneaking peanut butter into an allergic kid could actually kill him? What happened to bullying people because I was wearing boy Grranimal hand-me-downs because I had all boy cousins? Jeez, kids are nasty these days. And apparently deadly.
Disney has already pulled the Jessie episode, which is good because I did not want to explain that to my daughter, who somehow thinks having celiac means she has super powers. (And is very sad to think she no longer has them.) But I’m much more concerned about bullying in the real world than some back-talking, gluten-throwing, pint-sized actress. Seriously, that kid is obnoxious without having shit like that written into her story line.
So watch the PSAs, share them with your friends, and teach your allergic kids to kick bully ass. Maybe have them carry a copy of my book around and just hit kids with it. (Note: my lawyer says this is NOT good advice, and you should not take it from me.)
Did you know this food allergy bullying existed?