Oahu School Cracks Down On The Peanut

Kody Lynch
Kody Lynch
Keely Lynch
Keely Lynch

KAILUA, Oahu (KHNL) - A few Oahu schools have banned a popular food, commonly found on lunch menu's. Some parents are upset about it, but others say, it's a matter of life and death.

Mokapu Elementary banned all peanut and peanut-based products since Tuesday.

Less than ten percent of its students suffer from severe food allergies, but school officials say the ban is necessary or these kids could die.

Keely Lynch's son Kody goes to Mokapu. He suffers from this peanut allergy. Lynch was at school with her son, when he had a close call.

"I sat next to my son who sat next to a child who had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The little boy gave him a high five and the first thing he did was go to his mouth with his hand," said Lynch. "If I wasn't there that day, my son would be dead right now."

Once exposed to peanut based products, sufferers typically have two to four minutes to get medical treatment or they could die. Soon after that incident, the school took some action.

"We decided that we needed to put this ban in place so that we could address the most immediate and prevent a crisis from happening," said Annette Ostrem, the school's principal.

Some parents say it greatly limits their ability to make lunches for their kids, but Lynch says her son's life is at stake.

"I know children love peanut butter, but for my children it's not a choice," she said. "It's terrifying. I don't think any parent wants to think about burying their child."

The school may look into other options in the future, but for the time being, the ban will remain.

Mokapu is among a handful of schools on the island with the peanut ban.