Food bullying is more than just a harmless prank

The chances are that your child has been on the receiving end of teasing or bullying at least once in school. Sadly, most children endure some type of bullying during these difficult years, regardless of how popular they are. However, you and your children should understand that bullying can easily go too far, especially when it puts someone's health or safety at risk. Food bullying is a good example of a joke that some Kentucky students might think is harmless but can be extremely dangerous.

Recently, three girls between the ages of 13 and 14 played a joke on a classmate who was severely allergic to pineapples, and the results were anything but funny.

What happened?

According to USA TODAY, a girl from the group rubbed her hand with pineapple and high-fived the one with the allergy. The victim needed emergency treatment at the hospital. Fortunately, she fully recovered. However, the pranksters are now facing numerous criminal charges, including reckless endangering, aggravated assault and harassment.

Food allergies are a common fuel for bullying

Many children have serious allergies to foods such as nuts, dairy, shellfish and wheat. Exposure to these foods may cause reactions ranging in severity from hives to anaphylactic shock, causing coma or death. If your child is allergic to something, his or her classmates might think it would be funny to shove the allergen in his or her face or to put the food where your child may unwittingly make contact with it.

Teachers, coaches and other parents might also participate in the bullying. Some people do not believe allergies are a big deal, and they might attempt to prove your child is not allergic by baking it into food shared during a class event or extracurricular activity.

It does not matter how old someone is - when bullying or harassment results in your child suffering harm, you may have the right to seek legal recourse.

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