Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Letter to the Editor

As you all know, I like to write, but only in certain situations. I don't typically like to write in anything that looks, sounds, or smells like a debate, because I feel that emotions precede a logical train of thought and then... I just don't get my point across the way I want to. Then I hate feeling misunderstood, and I end up wishing I'd never said anything in the first place.

But occasionally, I see something that piques my concern and I know just what I want to say in response. I know it's good because I don't feel heated, defensive, at a loss for words, or embarrassed by what I might write. It just comes out.

Recently, a man in our county submitted a letter to the editor of the Chesterfield Observer, the local newspaper. It regards the new legislation about Epi-Pens, which requires that every school be stocked with them for use for any child in the school, regardless of having a diagnosed allergy or a prescription for an Epi-Pen. This is a big change sparked by the death of 7-year-old Ammaria Johnson after consuming a peanut product during school. As you know, our son Cole is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, so this cause is especially relevant to us.

You can read Mr. Condon's initial letter to the editor here:

And then another reader and myself wrote responses:

I hope Mr. Condon reads it, but even more so, I hope that others read it and become more aware of how allergies affect all of us. You never know who will be the next person to deal with a sudden allergic reaction, as it might not just be someone with an already-diagnosed allergy. Having Epi-Pens in the schools is an important (albeit expensive) step to ensure the safety of all persons in the face of an anaphylactic attack. Hope you learned something, too!


Sarah Call said...

Good response Ali. Clear, succinct and respectful. I act as the school physician for one of our local schools and yearly I write a generic order for epipens for the school to keep in case of emergencies. It never really occurred to me that this was not standard practice in all school districts. Glad you could kindly educate the concerned taxpayer!

Ali Foley Shenk said...

That's great, Sarah! I had no clue that other school districts did this! It just makes a lot of sense. :)

Candice said...

People are so ignorant...ugh! I don't understand why people don't care enough about others to support something like this. It seems unless someone is directly affected, the mentality is often, "Not my problem!"

Ali Foley Shenk said...

Candice, I agree, and I think this is especially the case with allergies. I also am not sure this guy even knows what Epi-Pens are used for. By comparing them to meds like insulin and antibiotics, I think he thinks it's some routine med given? I'm not sure. Either way, hope he knows now. :)