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Butler Area School District bans birthday snacks amid allergy concerns

After a lengthy discussion at last week’s meeting, the Butler Area School District’s board came to a conclusion Monday about students’ permission to bring edible treats to share with classmates on their birthdays.

“Due to severe life-threatening allergies and ensuring food sanitation, food treats/beverages are not permitted,“ the new policy says.

White said he spoke with principals and teachers over the past week to find their preferences in serving birthday treats brought in by students. The discussion on the topic initially began last week when White said some teachers were concerned about serving homemade snacks which may upset another child’s allergies.

In his talks with school staff, White found that a majority preferred to do away with students passing out snacks on their birthdays.

“Serving food in class was an obstruction to classroom time,” White said. “I had a couple of staff members share with me they liked birthday treats; those two were also both parents of children in the district, so there is different aspects.

“I don’t think there is any perfect consensus.”

White proposed three options: one to continue allowing birthday snacks, another to delete the edible option and a final one to have the district’s food provider supply food on students’ birthdays. A majority of the school board members chose the second option, encouraging parents to forego snacks on their child’s birthday.

Instead of bringing in edible treats, White and administration will encourage parents to send crafts or other souvenirs — such as pencils, “fun” erasers or stickers — to share among the class when it is their child’s birthday.

The new policy will be posted in this year’s student handbooks, which were also approved by the school board Monday.

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