Courteney Cox-Arquette: Breaking All The (Kindergarten) Rules!

10/04/2009 at 01:00 PM ET
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

During a recent visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, actress Courteney Cox-Arquette dished on the “big summer” she just enjoyed with husband David Arquette and their daughter Coco Riley.

Birthdays aplenty (Coco turned 5, while Courteney turned 45) and an anniversary (the couple’s tenth) were celebrated, but now the family-of-three has moved on to bigger and better things: Kindergarten! “There are a lot of rules,” Courteney notes. “I mean, so many rules you can’t believe it.”

“You can’t bring certain snacks because other kids are allergic. You can’t wear certain clothes because, I’m not sure, they’re too risqué? I’m not sure. And, you know, Coco loves to dress up.”

Prior to the start of class Courteney attended a conference for parents where the rules were unveiled. “It’s an amazing school, but … David was out of town, we’ve been known to be late, and the lady was like, ‘I’ll say this: it’s very, very important for you all to be on time.”

When David returned from New York City the next day, he was anxious to handle Coco’s dropoff himself — but Courteney didn’t have a chance to debrief him on all she had learned. “He’s like, ‘I was a little late,'” Courteney recalls. “I said ‘How late?’ and he goes, ‘Fifteen minutes.’ ‘What time did you get there?’ ‘9 a.m.’ I said, ‘No, you weren’t 15 minutes late. It starts at 8:20 a.m. You were 40 minutes late!'”

The bad news didn’t end there, however! David went on to reveal that he dressed Coco in a spaghetti-strap top and packed the banned snack Pirate’s Booty in her lunch, as well.

“I said, ‘David, that’s three rules!’ Our communications went through a breakdown, but we’re gonna get through it. We’re going to get expelled.”

Courteney’s new show Cougar Town airs Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.

Source: The Ellen DeGeneres Show

— Missy

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Tilly on

That is so funny:) It’s amazing how schools have all of these rules now that we didn’t have. Poor kids can’t just be allowed to be kids anymore either.
The sad part is, I’m sure they are paying an arm and a leg for this school, more than most of us probably pay for college tuition!

Andrea_momof2 on

Hahahahaha. She’s too funny.

Brianne on

lol @ Pirate’s Booty being a banned snack. My daughter LOVES that stuff. It’s her favorite snack.

Elizabeth on

I can understand certain foods being banned as a class snack due to allergies but why can’t Coco have Pirate Booty in her personal lunch?

MZ on

I don’t know anything about Pirate Booty…does it contain nuts? Some children have such a severe allergy to nuts that they can have a reaction to touching it (say, a kid with peanut buttery hands grabs them or kisses them) or even breathing it. So, I totally understand and respect banning nuts school-wide, especially at a preschool or elementary school where kids don’t have the concept of personal space down.

I hardly think of being on time as a rule though! I mean, that should just be understood, right? However, 8:20 seems like kind of a random time to start the day…

Sam & Freya's Mum on

being nosey but if someone could plse fill me in on what exactly is the snack Pirates Booty?, being in NZ not familiar with it here…

megan on

“we’ve been known to be late”

They’re nice people, but I cannot stand people who chronically show up late for things. It’s rude and disruptive to everyone else : P

Alicia on

Pirates Booty is popcorn.
That story is so funny!

Andrea_momof2 on

Courteney said (I believe) that it’s something about powdered cheese. Maybe the school prefers the snacks be mess-less 🙂

Sam & Freya's Mum on

Thanks Alicia for clarifying. Kids here aren’t allowed the usual nuts, eggs (in case of allergies obviously, too), rollups/fruit bars that are loaded with sugar and understandable!, but they are allowed popcorn – does seem OTT to me, banning popcorn!, perhaps concerns over choking on the corn kernel, who knows..?!

April on

It isn’t popcorn it’s white cheddar cheese puffs. 🙂 My daughter loves them.

Amandamay on

my son’s elementary school makes me CRAZY with all of the ridiculous rules (we go to a private school in LA as well) one rule that makes me nuts (and that i’m still arguing with the school about because i think it’s ridiculous) is no “juicy juice” juice boxes. they seem to be total eco-snobs and anything but organic juice boxes aren’t allowed. juicy juice is 100% freaking juice -it’s not like it’s kool-aid, but his teacher gives me a lecture every time. i still refuse to pay 3 times as much for the whole foods organic juice boxes. am i crazy? anyone have a thought on this?

Rachael on

I’ve never heard of it either. Only one store in my area sells it.

There are way too many rules for kids now in school, and while I agree they seem extreme I also think you need to have rules in place, otherwise nothing gets accomplished.

As for the allergies, I can’t remember allergies in schools like the kids have now and a new one seems to crop up every day. What’s up with that?

Anna on

The only rule I agree with is being on time. I decide what my child eats and how she dresses. If her school would ban certain foods and spaghetti strap clothing I would put her in a different school.

g!na on

I find this story to be irresponsible! i love this family but i don’t think because someone is famous they should not take things seriously! My daughter is now in kindergarten and i went through the rules thoroughly! Come on David! How could you not know when your daughter starts school? what, are their lives to important that they can’t get this school thing straight! Sorry, some things just irk me! lol. regular people like myself are in sync with school for our kids! celebrities seem to thing everything evolves around them! jmho!

Tilly on

AmandaMay, that is ridiculous about the juice boxes!! Sounds like the school is just up on their high horses on that one:) I don’t see anything wrong w/ Juicy Juice either.

g!na, as for David not knowing what time school starts, that sounds like a typical dad move to me:)

gee on


they never said they didnt take it seriously bc they’re famous.
david was out of town, probably on a business trip so he didnt go to the conference for the parents. that could happen to anyone… not only famous people

Mrs. R. on

Banning juicy juice boxes is pretty silly, but our preschool just all out banned juice – they said the mess from the boxes was the main reason, but that would prefer us to give our children fruit instead anyway.

I just send water in a sippy/travel cup.

Pirate’s booty is made on equipment that also is used for nuts, soy, etc… if there is a child with a SUPER sever allergy at the school, then even something that doesnt’ have nuts in it could set off a reaction because it once touched something that has nuts. It’s crazy, but I’m a teacher, and I’ve had that particular student before, and the poor little guy had to eat lunch by himself most days in the classroom because the school wouldn’t set a policy to ensure his safety. It may be an inconvenience to the parents of the other children, but seriously – the poor kid had a total complex that no one liked him because he had to eat by himself and watch all the other kids eat lunch together.

Zed on

My coworkers grandson attends a kindergarten where the only drinks allowed are water and milk and only fruits and raw veggies are allowed as snacks. This is not just for allergies, but to keep kids healthy. No cupcakes or brownies for birthdays either. Because it is the only kindergarten in the county (rural Tennessee), the parents have no choice to comply. My son attends kindergarten in a neighboring school system where there are no restrictions at all.

Amandamay on

Mrs R – I send fruit in my son’s lunch as well – It’s not like I’m suggesting using juice boxes as a real fruit alternative. I just think things have become ridiculous with the rules.

And for all of the annoying rules at my son’s school, they do NOT have a rule banning nuts/nut products (Thank God! I have a son who loves peanut butter) When I asked the Headmaster about it (We had come from a preschool with a strict no nut policy), he said it wasn’t fair to take such a staple of protein/nutrition away from all of the other kids (Most kids have peanut butter as a major protein source these days) just because of one or two kids with an allergy. He also said, that the kids with the allergies need to learn to not touch/share lunches as this will be essential to their lives in the future. Makes sense to me. I understand the no-nut policy in preschools where the kids aren’t old enough to understand not touching the food of others, but making a whole elementary school (Kindergarten and older) not eat something because of one or two kids is overkill, especially when kids of 5 years and up can understand to not touch the food of others.

janie on

Love this family! So down to earth!

Jane on

G!na- I interpreted it just the opposite-
it made me see her as a real human being. I loved the story and it made me laugh.

Jessicad on

Some people simply can’t help but be late. My best friend is never on time, it used to bother me and I thought it was so rude, but I realized she really can’t help it! She was even born late:) I’m always ridiculously early, people are just different like that, don’t think it makes them bad people. But what is with all the rules?? Seems like the more we try to protect kids the sicker they get.

Love this family and love the name Coco!

Summer on

I agree completely with Amandamay. It really bugs me that these schools think they have the right to tell people what they can or can’t do with their children. What happened to personal accountability? If someone wants to give their kid ho-hos and twinkies for lunch, that is their choice. Is it a good one? No way, but still their personal choice. Same goes with dress guidelines. And as for the allergy issue, as soon as kids are old enough to understand that you don’t touch/eat someone else’s food, I don’t think it’s appropriate to ban it. I must say, there are A LOT more kids with food allergies today then there were when I was young. And I’m not even all that old (26).

Dah on

There is a lot of rules know because kids are having alot of different allergies. My daughter as allergies to all nuts…cheshew is the worse. She can’t have any soy product, black beans, red kidney beans, raw carrot, and celery. Those are the one’s we know of. If she eats or if someone touch her can have a bad reaction and die.

I didn’t know about all these allergies, but I had to learn…and I know some parent(s) or people don’t know how bad allergies can be…I was one of them….so I can understand now why there is so many rules.

Elisha on

I am a mother to a child with allergies to milk, egg and peanuts (my 2 oldest children do not have any food allergies). I never comprehended how difficult it would be to send her to preschool/school. You worry every day about what other children bring to school to eat. It’s not just sharing of food but if a child touches/eats peanuts and then touches her pencil, chair, backpack anything really and they leave peanut dust on it and she touches her face or mouth and digests it she will go in anaphylactic shock and could die. She has to carry an epi-pen to school as well as Benadryl for mild reactions. I completely sympathize with other parents on the restrictions because I found it difficult to understand with my two oldest. But when it becomes your child you realize how these “annoying rules” regarding food are the same ones you would want in place for the safety of your child.

Lena on

Why don’t these schools just serve lunch that’s approved for all known food allergies?

Amandamay on

Elisha, I get what you are saying, but do you really expcet a school to ban milk, eggs and nuts just because of your children? What about kids with strawberry allergies, seafood allergies… The list is endless. They’d have to ban so many foods!

There is a 6 year old girl in my son’s class who is deathly allergic to several foods, including nuts. She also has a serious medical condition requiring transfusions once a month and has gluten issues. Despite this, her parents don’t expect the school to ban anything. She is well aware of her condition (And they did an awareness session for the kids and teachers to teach them about what is dangerous for her) She brings her own food, keeps it in a special, cleaned cupboard in the school kitchen and hasn’t had a problem in the 2 years we’ve been in school together. I think education about sharing/what can lead to problems is the key – Kids are smart! If you inform them, they’ll understand. Banning foods is not the solution. These kids can’t live in a bubble – They need to be aware that the rest of the world can be dangerous to them and how to deal with it.

Amandamay on

Lena – That won’t really solve the problem, as many kids bring lunch from home – Our school only offers “hot lunch” once a week. Everyone brings their own lunch from home.

Alice on

Jessicad – thank you! I am one of those always late people. I really can’t help it. I’ve always run to school/work, I’ve missed countless buses and trains and even a plane. Even when I wake up early I leave at the last minute. I don’t know why that is and I try to work on it. It’s no disrespect or thinking that people can wait for me, I actually feel really bad when I know someone’s waiting.

Lena, I think this would be really hard. A lunch without any kind of nuts, without eggs, or soy or milk… it would be good cause parents wouldn’t have to worry but on the other hand it’s very complicated and it might taste funny and kids are difficult with food.

Schools have the weirdest rules. I was once in a school where we weren’t allowed to braid our hair. Their reason was, because then you can play with your braids and be distracted and not listen in class. How stupid is this? I understand maybe not allowing braids with big colored pearls at the tip because it does look toy-ey but come on.

I’m pretty sure Courtney and David will manage and adapt, but you do need some time to get used to thinking about all the little details.

Beverley on

I find lateness to be just about the most rude thing a person can do. It sends a message that other people don’t matter to you and that their time is not as important as yours. Emergencies are one thing, but someone who is chronically late should get up earlier, get organized the night before, plan ahead, leave earlier for places and consider doing less if they can’t get everywhere on time. You will get fired from my work if you are continuously late. I have told my husband’s aunt, who is always 60-90 minutes late that if she wasn’t going to be at my house for dinner on time, do not bother to come. She came on time. But to think that it would be acceptable to come late when the food is sitting there ready to be eaten is inconceivable to me. My sister-in-law showed up late to my house on Thanksgiving once and we didn’t wait for her. Why should everyone else eat cold turkey and dried up stuffing all because of her being inconsiderate. Maybe if people knew how much disrespect it shows being late all the time, they would try to change it.

Erika on

When I was in school we couldn’t bring anything but water for snack, because everything else could make a mess. They even only allowed milk during lunch, and stopped serving it during snack. With food it couldn’t be messy. If there was a nut allergy we couldn’t have nut products, but people didn’t follow that, and the school didn’t care. They really only cared about the drinks.

Micheley on

I understand that Peanuts are a very common allergy, my son is allergic to peanuts as well as are many other children at his school. But I think sometimes it goes to far and as parents we need to try to make our kids aware of what is and isn’t appropriate for them personally. My daughter is allergic to Citrus causing her to sneeze at the smell and break out at the touch, but I don’t expect her pre k to ban oranges, just as long as her teacher knows and she is aware that she can’t eat them.

Lena on

I meant these fancy private schools, why don’t they provide a few choices that are safe. I went to a public school on long island and had many choices for hot and cold lunch. I understand some schools can’t afford it but a private school should. The family is paying for better quality or else they’d send them to A free school.

Amandamay on

Lena, my son goes to a private school, but as I said, they only have hot lunch once a week. I don’t mind having to make his lunch, as I like to know what my son is eating and I like to make it for him. The parents at our school all agree that the money that would go to hot lunch is better spent on things like better teachers and more art options.

But that’s not the point. Even if they DID offer hot lucnh everyday, I wouldn’t agree with only offering foods that are allergy free. Where would it end? There are so many allergies – Soy, eggs, milk, nuts, seafood, strawberries, gluten, citrus… What would you be able to make when your options would be dwindled down to practically nothing. I still say that educating the kids is the way to go, not creating a “bubble” of “safe” food.

MZ on

AmandaMay, I think an exception should be made for nut allergies, b/c kids can be allergic to the particles in the air, to being touched by someone who has PB on their fingers. And most kids in elementary school are not the greatest about keeping their hands to themselves, ask any elementary school teacher (my brother is one). Correct me if I’m wrong, but things like citrus allergies, strawberry allergies, etc. are only if ingested. So, I would say it would be unreasonable for schools to ban all allergens, but kids with severe nut allergies need extra steps to be safe at school.

JM on

i was just wondering, because no one has mentioned it yet, what did they mean that certain items of clothing weren’t allowed? that seems strange to me.
a lot of these rules seem strange to me and kind of nanny-state. sad that kids are made to be scared of so many things nowadays.

Sarah K. on

Amandamay, I have to strongly disagree. I know first and second-hand just how dangerous food allergies can be. Even a sniff of peanuts or touching the same pen as someone who ate a pb&j can bring on a severe reaction, even anaphylactic shock. It may be irritating, but there are some deadly consequences.

Quite frankly, I’m shocked that a grade school principal thinks it’s a good idea for a couple of small children to be diligent at all times and pay with their lives if they’re not. It’s hard for adults to always be diligent. If and when one of those kids suffers an allergy because he didn’t have a policy in place the school will end up with a whopper lawsuit.

Peanuts are a bit different from other food allergies because of it’s smell and oil. It’s more easily transferable, which is why it’s the first to be banned. Other foods, like strawberries, seafood, etc. while dangerous are not as “spreadable”.

I’d much rather pack a non-peanut butter lunch for my kid if it saved another kid’s life.

Allison on

This story cracked me up! Courteney is trying to follow all the school rules and David messes it up. Sounds like a normal family to me. My spouse and used to have the same communcation breakdowns about school/preschool for our kids. Courteney and David will work it out. It was only the first day!

lis on

I have lots of food allergies… I was the kid with the special cupboard in the kitchen.

Nut allergies are definitely different than most other food allergies. It’s the only one that makes sense to ban from school (for allergy purposes- mess is different).

As to the clothing- every school I’ve ever attended had a dress code and I could never wear spaghetti straps, ever. It seems surprising to me that others can.

Amandamay on

Sarah K – Indeed, I must be a selfish person who doesn’t care about saving the lives of children. When I was in school, we didn’t have any of these allergy rules, and not once did anyone have a problem. People had allergies even back in the dark ages when I was in school (The eighties) but I think nowadays people have gone crazy with the rules and over-protecting of children. Do I think peanut allergies are serious? YES. I lived with a mother who was (And still is) severely allergic to peanuts(She was hopitalized twice while I was a child) and I have a brother who had to get weekly injections at the hospital(Back before they had the readily available meds that they do now) for his severe dust allergy. Even with all that, when I’ve discussed this matter with them (It’s a hot topic at schools these days) they both agree with me. It’s not for the school to decide. My mom in particular thinks it’s ridiculous to ban peanuts from school.

As for our Headmaster thinking students should take responsibility for themselves – Our school is a progressive school that believes the kids should and can be responsible for more than most are allowed to be today with all of the hovering/helicopter parents. My son (Who is the palest of pale with red hair and burns after 2 minutes in the sun) at age 5 was expected at school to be in charge of putting on his own sunscreen 3 times a day (It can be 115 degrees here) – At first I objected to this as we have rampant skin cancer from the late teens-on in our family, and didn’t think his health should be in his own hands, but after the first week of kindergarten he did it, unprompted and WELL. He took great pride in his accomplishment (And 2 years later, still does) NO sunburns yet (And we live where it’s still over 100 degrees everyday in October!) My point? Kids are smart. Kids are capable. Of more than we allow them these days. EXPLAIN to them what can happen with peanut allergies. Have an assembly. Discuss it in science class. Talk about the serious consequences, and what to do IF (God forbid) something were to happen. Our school has no policy against nuts, and guess what? NOT ONE child has had a problem. And I know of several kids with nut allergies who attend the school.

Liz on

My daughter’s pre-school had a no nuts snack, peanut butter sandwich rule, because the kids were small, they could grab other kids’ food. But her kindergarten has no such rule (only no sharing food), and TG for that, since she loves peanut butter.

Mary on

I was sweating out all the rules at my son’s school, praying they didn’t ban peanut butter and they didn’t!

Stella Bella on

The private elementary school I went to as a kid had a long list of ridiculous rules. If I remember correctly the dress code alone was nearly eight pages long and they even dictated what type of hairstyles were acceptable. I remember quite a few boys running around with the unfortunate “bowl” haircut as a result of the rules.

Elisha on

In response to Amandamay:
No, I actually don’t expect the school to ban food containing milk and eggs. Trust me this would rule out almost all food for kids which is very unrealistic. It is known that milk and egg allergies are not life threatening and only cause mild reactions such as hives, runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, which is what Benadryl is for. These reactions are manageable. But I do believe schools should rule out “life threatening” allergies. The life threatening allergies are generally peanuts and sometimes shell fish. I just wish people would realize that if this was their child who has to go to school and their life could be in danger every day what rules they would like other parents to abide by. Again I completely understand the inconvenience as I was once a mom who was bothered by these rules before I had a child whose life depended on such rules. Again it is not just eating another child’s food which can cause a severe reaction. It is the presence of peanut dust which can happen when children touch other children’s personal items. You can’t go to baseball games, you can’t fly Southwest Airlines, a lot of dog treat contain peanuts, and a parent has to be so vigilant as it can cost you your child’s life. I never understood the severity of the issue until it happened to my child, I know people who are commenting would have a whole new perspective if they walked in a peanut allergic parent shoes.

Shea on

The standard rule for tank-tops in most schools is that the strap has to be 3 fingers wide for it to be allowed….once they hit middle and high-school may don’t even allow tank-tops that are 3 fingers. The reason for this is, most elementary schools go from K4 through 5 (in some states 6th) grade. While a K4, K or 1st grader has nothing to worry about, the older girls in the school are starting to develope and the boys are starting to look…if they allow a K4 student to wear skimpy strapped tops and short-shorts then they would have to allow a 10 or 11 year old upper classman to as well, and it’s not appropriate for school. Sexual harassment is there sadly in even 4th, 5th and 6th grades.
I would rather reserve the cute spaghetti-strap tops for home and keep my daughter from being harassed by little boys that havn’t been taught what is and isn’t appropriate behavior towards females. KWIM?

jammaj on

amandamay – I don’t usually comment here, but I think that you are on target with your comment. Kids are more capable than we give them credit for, and kids are extremely sheltered in this day and age. I think that precautions should be taken in teaching children the dangers of allergies and what to do if they or others have allergies, but it is not helpful to them to create a bubble atmosphere. I was in elementary school in the 90’s and even then there were no bans on brining any types of food to school. There were several children who had allergies, but their parents made their allergies known to the other kids and the teachers, and there was never an instance of an allergic reaction. I understand that it must be very hard for parents with kids who have severe allergies, but I do not think that creating such food bans are the most productive way to deal.

Sarah K. on

Amandamay, when did I ever even use the word “selfish” let alone call you selfish?

My sister and I went to school back in the eighties as well and we, and especially her, had major problems with other kids not being careful. It didn’t really matter how careful she was (and she definitely was), but kids without allergies tend not to understand how severe it is. She would end up with rashes on her hands and hives on her face from smelling peanut butter in kids’ lunchboxes. How exactly do you prevent that without banning peanuts?

It’s great that your son can apply sunscreen, but that’s not at all dependent on the actions of other kids. Allergies can hinge on the actions of other people. All it takes is one person not washing their hands.

Once again, I’m not calling you selfish, but I do think we have different perspectives on the issue.

Sarah K. on

Elisha, I completely agree (and so would my mom). Southwest airlines and baseballs games are the bane of my mom’s existence. She worries when we study abroad, go to cafes, eat at restaurants, and the list goes on and on. We’re grown up and she still asks us if we have our epi-pens (irritating, but she’s a mom, haha). And, it’s really scary to have feel your throat close. To literally be that close to not breathing with the bite of a cookie is a sobering experience.

I♥CBB on

This was such a funny story!!! 🙂

Hilda on

Seriously? Some of you just do not understand how deadly a peanut allergy is. It is not “silly” like some one commented, to remove this allergent. Yeah kids know not to touch or eat it, but, this one can KILL someone from across the cafeteria! Since most food allergies aren’t life threatening, they can be served. You can sit next to some one that is eating something that you r allergic to, w/o consequences, but, just sitting next to someone eating peanuts/nuts can kill you. That is why this particular allergent should be removed. It’s a LIFE THREATENING ALLERGY! Please be considerate of someone’s life.

azmama on

I wonder if their daughter goes to a Waldorf school or something similar to that, since they have very strict clothing policies. My niece could not wear any clothing that had characters (this even pertained to underwear) or logo’s on them. I think the only logo’s that were allowed were on shoes.

Erika on

I don’t think schools should ban foods because of allergies, but peanuts are different. I don’t think ‘Matthew’ should be at risk, because ‘Michael’ and ‘Sarah’ want to eat peanut butter for lunch. If a school doesn’t have a kid with nut allergies, they absolutely should allow nuts, why not, but you shouldn’t jepordize the health of a little kid, so someone else can eat one lunch food. In my school, it depended on if the class had a kid with nut allergies (my class did, the parent would send a note, however people disregarded it) but since people didn’t follow through, the kid with the nut allergy had the option of bringing a few friends, and eating in a separate part of the nurse’s office. I think they should have banned them all together, however, you can’t moniter what everyone brings anyway, so it was nice for those kids to have a safe place to go.

Fortunately, nobody in my family is severely allergic to nuts, but I know how severe it is. However, I did know a little girl (not in my school) who had a nut allergy so severe, she went on a swing after another child (who apparently had eaten peanut products) and went into anaphalactic (sp???) shock. Luckily she had an epi pen and was okay, but it’s scary. Another unfortunate story was told to me by an allergist, in which a mother brought in brownies for her childs birthday to his/her 1st grade class, with nuts and sprinkles mixed together on top. A little girl asked if there were nuts in there, but the mother thought she was just being picky, so she told her no. The little girl didn’t make it :(.

I don’t want to make anybody upset with these stories, but it is so serious, why would you want to risk a childs health over peanut butter?

kendra on

You said that “it is known that milk and egg allergies are not life threatening and only cause mild reactions”. THIS IS NOT TRUE.
Those allergies can be life threatening as well. My little brother has a very severe form of milk allergy and he will die if is exposed to it and doesn’t get treatment right away. He has to carry around an epipen (adrenaline) for first aid.

Being lactose intolerant and being allergic to milk are very different things and a lot of people don’t seem to understand how dangerous it can be. Even if you tell you’re allergic to milk in restaurants etc they aren’t always as careful because they just think it will cause something very mild if anything.

Sara on

Elisha and Sarah K…preach! Seriously, thank you for your posts. It really is so hard for someone to understand unless they have a child that has severe food allergies. My own parents and siblings don’t even understand why I’m so protective of my child. So frustrating..
As a parent of an allergy child you try to prepare them the best you can and ultimately trust that they’ll know what to do. It’s everyone else that you have to worry about.

steph on

I thought the story was really funny. I think they are a laid back family and their daughter will really benefit from it.

My 13 yr old son has a cashew/tree nut allergy. So i know the fear that comes from it. The dr. told us to also avoid peanuts since he was 3 when he had his reaction. He came within just minutes of dying from his throat closing up and I got him to the ER and the dr saw him within 10 mins of his whelps showing up. However none of his schools have had a nut banned. So he has had to learn his surrounding. This has worked well for him. and the kids that he has grown up with know his allergy and are fine with it.

Of course there are some mean kids and mean adults. Bc we live in a town with a college and there was this one girl who was so allergic that if someone ate peanuts and then talked to her she would have a reaction. this made the college ban all nuts just while she was going to school. I totally understand this. well some of the so called adults.. considering they were over 18 this made them “adults” got their panties in a bunch. Someone decided to smear peanut butter on a door handle and wipe it off. Well hours later she touched it, hit the floor had a reaction and ended up on life support. She almost died. I will never understand someones reasoning in doing something like that. They thought she was faking it for special treatment. I would hate to have that bad of a reaction and have to depend on other around me in order to live.


hkdiaz on

Amandamay-I completely agree with everything you’ve said. Allergies are not new. “Back in the day”, parents took it as their responsibility to educate their children and make sure their scool and classmates were aware. Now it seems like parents rely soooo much on schools to do things they should be doing. My school is doing the flu vaccinations next week. Since my dd is in K, I had no idea schools did this-I assumed it was my responsibility as a paren and made an appt at her ped. for te vaccination. Back to the allergies-I’m VERY glad my school district doesn’t ban peanut butter-its the ONLY sandwich my dd will eat.

Lea on

Shea, I would rather we taught little boys not to sexually harass. That seems like a much more productive use of time than banning children from exposing that shocking extra inch of shoulder. Seriously, what extra is shown in a tank top with straps 1″ wide than the same top with straps 1.5″ wide?

Shannon on

My daughter is in Kindergarten this year, and she has a child with a severe nut allergy in her class. Because of this, we as parents are asked not to send in snacks that contain nuts of any kind, everything has to be pre-packaged, and we have to read the box to be sure it was not made in a facility where nuts are handled. However, there is no outright ban on nuts at school. The kids who have allergies sit together at a special table in the lunch room. Before the kids go back to class, each table in the cafeteria is sent to the sink to wash up. Every table is cleaned and disinfected before the next group. The trash is emptied. So while they don’t outright ban nuts, they do take a lot of precautions to make sure no one has a reaction. They work together with the parent to create a safe atmosphere for these kids without taking away from others because of it. I went to this same school as a child, and in the almost 20 years we’ve been in this disctrict, I have NEVER heard of a child having a reaction severe enough to even require the use of an epipen. I don’t know why there seems to be so many more problems with allergies now than there were when I was a kid though. I know they’ve always been there, but 20 years ago no one would ever consider banning nuts or even having to eat at a seperate table, and I don’t recall these kinds of life-threatening reactions back then.

As for the dress code, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with no spaghetti straps for precisely the reason someone mentioned above. Girls are starting to develop as they get closer to the end, and boys will look, and many will talk too. I agree that parents should be teaching there boys to be more respectful, however, I am well aware that some parents just don’t care enough to do that. That is how it always has been and always will be. I don’t just rely on trusting every other parent to do their job. I don’t let my daughter wear anything revealing to school anyway, but I don’t have any objection to a dress code that will pertain to everyone. I know the middle and high schools here both have a dress code like this, and I don’t mind it in the least.

Hayley_B on

We always had a dress code at school – no tank tops, no midriff baring tops, and skirts couldn’t be shorter than 2 inches above the knee. This was just a couple of years ago.

Now my co-worker’s daughter (who is in 11th grade) has the same rules. She actually got a call from her daughter’s school cuz the girl wore a tank top with a dressy vest over it to class in 90 degree weather. It seems a little silly when it’s that hot not to allow decent tank tops – imo.

As for the nut allergy, I have a little cousin who’s severely allergic. I can understand the seriousness of this particular allergy – I’ve seen him go blue when his airway closed in a matter of minutes and it was the scariest thing imaginable. Personally, if I had a child attending school, I would have no problem complying with this rule. She could enjoy her peanut butter at home 🙂

That said – they are getting a little too strict with the rest of the food items. Imo – if you want to give your child a juice box, you should be allowed!

kris on

Amandamay – Your headmaster is right regarding peanut butter etc. A friend of mine has 2 children, both with nut allergies. Her attitude is that by elementary school she should have taught her children how to keep themselves safe regarding their food allergy. If the school was nut free then everyone becomes lazy about that safety. And the real world is full of foods they can not eat and they need to be aware of this. It’s never been a problem and I think her kids are great at being careful about what they eat.

The first day of school is where you make all the mistakes and then learn from them. Although I’m sure the principal will be giving them a call if Coco is late every day. 🙂

Terri on

Oh lord, that’s hilarious! What an ordeal.

Alice on

What suprise me in the development of this thread is how many people give peanut butter sandwiches to their kids for lunch, I didn’t know it was that common. Is it just part of the lunch, like desert or something? Surely their actual (main) lunch can’t be bread and peanut butter every day.

Anyway, I’m not sure where I stand on the allergy issue… Amandamay has a very valid point about kids being able to handle their allergy themselves. When they grow up people are not going to ban peanuts from a company because they work there, or from an airport because they want to catch a flight. They have to be prepared. That kind of danger will be around every day, it’s not worse in school.
On the other hand I can only imagine the worry to send your kid to school knowing that you have no control over how other people educate their children, if they will be careful enough. I still think if the allergy is so severe it will kill someone across the cafeteria… home school your kid. May not seem easy but at that point there’s no way of being completely safe is there? You can’t stop other kids from say, eating peanuts for breakfast and breathe near your kid. Banning nuts is not even that relevant anymore.

My biggest concern is how there are more allergies now than before. There were some, and severe ones, but now it’s like every kid is allergic to something. It might be the way we’re living/eating, maybe chemicals… anyway it’s a little scary.

Shannon on

Alice, most of the kids on my daughter’s school have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch 2 or 3 days a week. I know my daughter takes it 2 times maybe, and then has apples and a yogurt with it, and some fruit snacks for dessert.

Gena on

I don’t find this article to be irresponsible at all. As a matter of fact I find it refreshing to see that these parents have just as many challenges and issues as us “normal” parents. I would rather see David Arquette being so into his daughter that he thinks its important to take his daughter to school on the first day than him sending her via nanny or a “driver”.. you know they could afford it. Life happens… sometimes people are late.. it sucks but it doesn’t mean they are chronic late people… get over it. (Btw.. I am not a “late” person but my sister is chronically and its very annoying because she doesn’t think it should matter so I do see both sides of the issue.) The juice box thing is NUTS.. I would have to tell that teacher to mind her own business.. and if she didn’t like what you purchase for your own child.. then she can buy the organic juiceboxes herself.

sarah on

I know of a couple people who are severely allergic and can have an anaphylactic reaction (ie. difficulty or stop breathing) without ever coming in physical contact with peanuts. My two-year old daughter is allergic and had a serious reaction (at 13 months old) without ever eating peanuts/nuts herself (I had eaten a granola bar with peanuts in it and kissed her on the head). Thankfully, blood tests have indicated that she is not severely allergic, but I have to keep an allergy kit, including an epi-pen, with her at all times (and make our house nut-free). My four-year-old just started Junior Kindergarten and his school is nut-free because of several students, not in his class, with nut allergies. I have to admit, before my daughter’s reaction, I didn’t appreciate the magnitude of the situation. I was aware of allergies, but did not realize that someone could have such an extreme reaction so very quickly. Current research into peanut allergies has given some hope, but I think it might be quite a few years before anything can be developed to help protect people from an allergic reaction. Right now, the best way to prevent an allergic reaction is avoidance. Wouldn’t you rather your child enjoy nut products at home than possibly cause one of their classmates to be rushed to the hospital?
Regarding juice boxes and sweets, my son’s school is trying to be a “green” and health-conscious school and encourages litter-less lunches with no packaging or disposable items and strongly discourages processed sweets like fruit roll-ups and twinkies. I haven’t made it 100% yet (my son loves the stringy cheese sticks that come individually packaged), but I understand their objective of teaching the children to be aware of their impact on our environment and to learn the basics of good nutrition. He still gets his beloved oreo cookies, just not at school.

JM on

i just think it’s sad that we control what our kids wear in this way. i mean there are completely obvious limits (like, don’t go to school in a bikini) but to me a ban on something that is essentially a normal item of clothing that you might wear to the park or a friend’s house is really paranoid and controlling. i don’t know if you people live in cooler climates but where i grew up the last weeks in school before summer holidays could easily be upwards from 35°C and trust me, most girls wore spaghetti tops or tank tops to school because otherwise we would have suffered from heat stroke. and there were never any problems with the boys, certainly no more than when we were wearing other types of clothing.

i just think this is a paranoid and overprotective way of living and is far more likely to sexualise kids at a younger age because we MAKE them aware of it. just sad….

Ruthella on

I am in the UK and allergy-related issues don’t seem to be that big a deal here. I definitely don’t know of any child that takes peanut butter, or any nuts, in their packed lunches so I suppose that helps.

As to the clothes thing, 99% of schools wear uniform here anyway!

I like Courteney and David and I have to admit that I smiled at the post…she tells a good story 😀 But, the lateness thing annoys me too.

I understand people being late sometimes; things just crop up at the last minute! But I dislike people whi have the disclaimer ‘Oh, you know us, we’re always late!’ (though this might not be the case for C & D, it comes off that way).

I can’t imagine a scenario where my husband wouldn’t check what time school starts? Maybe the lunch thing, although I’d make sure to tell him, but to not even find out the time? Odd!

Tammy on

I was just reading the comments and totally agree with Zed about the banning of peanut butter. I think it is ridiculous to ban an entire school of nuts when only a handful of kids might have an allergy. I believe that the kids with the allergy should learn how to control themselves by not being around the person with peanut butter or have kids not share their lunches. I’m not that old, but ten years ago schools did not have this rule in place. And in case you’re wondering, I am a teacher who has taught in a school where nuts were banned. It is unfair to a lot of people, especially those e.g. vegetarians who may depend on nuts for protien.

As for having the kids with allergies eat alone. The school could organize a lunch room for kids with allergies to eat amongst themselves. Yeah, I know it’s not fair, but in many ways that’s life. In the real world, companies don’t have no-nut rules for their employees…I’m sorry but the kids will have to deal.

MamsMom on

Wow, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that an innocent article about the Cox/Arquette family turned into a debate about food allergies. After reading most of the posts, why if you know that their may be a child in your son/daughter’s class who has severe food allergies, would you want your child to bring in that food that could lead to possibly a death…Just because your child may want a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, this is a time to teach your child “you can’t have everything you want” and they can have it after school…Are we that selfish that we are inconvenience to alter our choices to possibly help save a child’s life…Are parents of these children required to “put their child in a glass bubble” in order for them to live? I am baffled at some of the comments…

Sarah K. on

“I believe that the kids with the allergy should learn how to control themselves…I’m sorry but the kids will have to deal.”

Sorry, but that’s ridiculous. Those kids can can control themselves, but can’t control OTHER people. It’s really quite simple. They can’t not touch the same object in a classroom with 25 kids.

And, how is it ridiculous to ban nuts for a handful of kids when those “handful of kids” could literally drop dead at the smell of nuts? Last time I checked, that was still a big deal. I guess it’s ok if only 3 kids die as opposed to 100?

Summer on

I just have a few questions. First, what happens if a kid ate peanut butter for breakfast and didn’t brush their teeth and/or wash their hands? How can you monitor that? Also, even if there is a “no nut” policy, how can it be enforced at larger schools? Some of the schools in my area have thousands of students per grade. Does someone check each and every lunch and go through their personal belongings to make sure they don’t have any nuts on them? I’m honestly curious. I have an infant, so I haven’t had to deal with this stuff yet.

brannon on

Wow. As a mother and a teacher I am a bit shocked by some of these statements. “Sorry your kid could die, but my kid loves peanut butter sandwiches.” Telling children – ages 5 to 10 – to get over eating by yourself, life isn’t fair, etc. RATHER than telling your own child they can’t have peanut butter in school … maybe you should be telling them “too bad, life isn’t fair — at least you can eat it when you get home!” Very scary. So much for teaching tolerance of others facing challenges. My public elementary school where I teach has some of these “ridiculous” rules such as peanut free (had a parent last year who was annoyed with the rule and sent in a peanut butter sandwich with her 2nd grader. My fifth grader sitting two rooms down from the cafeteria ended up in shock and was hospitalized for 2 days. Should he have been “controlling” himself?) We also only allow for clear water bottles – no juice – and have a dress code. As a beach town, we often have children in school who look as if they are headed to the beach, not school. this doesn ot foster an educational mindset. Also, many elementary schools have rules for the whole school – in other words, a spaghetti strap top on a 5 year old and one on a ten year old are completely different. In any case, I have to wonder how many of you annoyed by the rules have children who struggle to follow rules in school? If you want to go “back in the day” then remember a time when rules were rules and kids followed them in school. Now on the flip, my son attends an exclusive private school and the rules – though a bit stricter and better enforced – are similar. No juice, no sugar, no cupcakes, etc. I get letter after letter about the no cupcake thing and I never understand the problem – eat cupcakes at home. There are so many other alternatives for school celebrations. (I had a child today bring in a box of clementines – the kids loved it!) Do any of you who complain about this have any experience with educating 20 some children hyped up on sugar and in “party mode?” Oddly enough – yet to find kids who don’t understand the rules. We journal all the time about their opinions on such things and they always get it — why do so many adults have so much trouble? Do I agree with all the rules all the time – of course not. Do I follow them (so long as my rights, beliefs, etc. are not compromised – of course.) Cupcakes and tank tops are hardly cause for such uproar. Time and place…

CelebBabyLover on

brannon- But getting to have cupcakes for your birthday at school is practically a childhood right of passages. I mean, birthdays and cakes/cupcakes go together like, for example, peanut butter and jelly!

I’m just glad that when I was in school (which was all that terribly long ago, either…hence I am also amazed at how much stricter the rules have become in such a relatively short time), we were allowed to be kids, and bring birthday snacks like cupcakes for the class on our birthdays. Not only that, but we were allowed special treats for holidays (or the day closest to them, if they fell on a weekend or, in the case of Christmas, over a break from schoool). AND our teachers didn’t freak out if we ate a little of our Valentine’s Day loot at school during the Valentine’s party (naturally most of us included candy with our valentines)!

I understand the peanut thing somewhat…although I admit I would have been very upset if my Elementary School had banned nuts, as, although I usually ate the hot lunch (I was weird and actually LIKED most of the hot lunches my school served!), whenever I DID bring my own lunch, I always had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

However, some of the other rules that various schools have, such as no juice, sound absolutely ridiculios to me! I mean, what’s next? Banning flavored watter?

Summer on

I must say, I’m glad my school district hasn’t done any of these things. There was always a dress code, but after looking into it for future knowledge, they haven’t banned any foods. I just don’t see how it would work. As I said above, what about the kids that eat peanut butter on toast for breakfast? Or the kid that just brings it in anyway? Maybe for a really small preschool class it makes sense, but not school or district wide.

Beverley on

Sometimes, rules just need to evolve over time as life changes. When I started high school in 1987 you were allowed to smoke cigarettes outside on campus. Fast forward to 2009 and can you imagine any school allowing that. When I was in elementary school in 1983 or 84, I was the new kid and was beaten up in the hallway on a weekly basis. Nowadays, there is a zero tolerance policy for that and the aggressor would be suspended or expelled. In the 80s and 90s, there were almost no kids with severe allergies, so they didn’t need rules at school to exclude peanut products. It’s 2009 and tons of kids have these allergies.

Thankfully we no longer allow smoking at school, violence against other students, and ban potentially deadly peanuts from schools where kids who even inhale a tiny amount of it can DIE. Will anyone DIE from not getting to have peanut butter at school? NO! But nowadays, there are kids who WILL DIE with even the slightest exposure to it. Too bad if it’s an inconvenience. Better an inconvenience than someone die. Your kid can eat peanut butter when they get home. If that’s all they eat, they won’t die if they don’t get it till 3:30 at home. I can’t believe anyone is whining about not being able to give their kid a POTENTIALLY DEADLY PRODUCT AT SCHOOL! HOW SELFISH OF YOU! Thankfully, neither of my kids have this allergy, but I would never complain about it if someone else could possible DIE. Feed your kid something else. And if that’s all they eat, then let them have it at 3:30 at home. Wah, Wah, Wah, they’re too hungry at 3:30. But at least they’re alive.

Di on

RULES! OMG!! I hate them… they come up with the most ridiculous ideas… the other day I went to pick up my daughter from school and the principal came to me to tell me that my daughter is not allowed to wear skirts anymore because they are too short.. come on.. she is 7 and the skirt has the little shorts attached underneath… her skirts are not short.. her legs are just too long…


I’m sorry but I don’t think any school has the right to ban any foods period. If your child has an allergy that severe it is up to you the parent to protect your child – not the rest of the world. Do you put bubble wrap on that child when you go out? Does your child experience any social settings? Do you expect EVERYONE to listen to your guidelines? You are living a pretty naive and entitled life if you think EVERYONE follows those rules.Instead you should be teaching your child how to survive within NORMAL society.Do you actually believe every child doesn’t sneak a cookie, a granola bar, candy, whatever, that may have peanuts in them? Do you actually think this will be forever banned from your child’s social/school settings? You need to TEACH YOUR child how to protect themselves without depending on the kindness of others so far to have to commit to protecting your child too.


And BTW – my son had a severe citrus allergy – if it touched him he immediately broke out in a blistery rash – including the inside of his mouth, face, tongue etc. We taught him to protect himself – which included washing himself immediately – hands, face, whatever got touched, and putting medication on – and that was since he was 3.Did we ask the schools to stop having students have citrus – no – we put the responsibility on our son’s shoulders – which is where it should be – that’s REAL life.If it had been a DEADLY allergy we sure as heck wouldn’t have trusted anyone to really follow that guideline – that would be putting a child’s life dependent on a 5 yr old – and what type of guilt would that child grow up with if he/she had snuck a peanut bar onto the playground and had caused another child’s death?

dolly on

Peanuts can kill, and all of you who want to argue the rights of the other children to eat peanutbutter are ignorant and selfish. All the schools should ban peanuts and related products. I feel outraged when I read these ignorant comments. How hard is it to pack something else than peanutbutter. Knowing that it could kill another child, you still insist on bringing peanutbutter into the school. I call that irresponsible parenting

mike on

I found this researching nut allergies.
About the college girl who touched the door, what in the world was she thinking touching that door handle without gloves? Why was she not wearing a fine particulate surgical mask?
That is what those with the most extreme allergies need to do, just as those with with very severe environmental allergies and compromised immune systems do.
The allergic is responsible for taking the precautions rather than inconveniencing others.

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