Imagine that you are the mother of a 10 year old daughter who is very susceptible to sunburns. Add the fact that your father just died of skin cancer a few months ago. Now your daughter is going on a school field trip and you send sun screen with her to protect her from getting sunburned but the school refuses to allow her use the sunscreen. You know that sunburns as a child double the risk of developing skin cancer later in life and that with the family history, what would you do?
That happened to Christy Riggs and her ten year old daughter Rachel. Christy’s father died in March from skin cancer and she doesn’t want to see her daughter suffer the same fate.
When Rachel came home from the field trip with a severe sunburn, Riggs was upset. When she contacted the school, she was informed that the district banned sunscreen because it is a toxin and kids might have an allergic reaction to it or could ingest it and that would be dangerous.
Aubrey Chancellor, Spokeswoman for the North East Independent School District issued the following official statement:
“Typically sunscreen is a toxic substance & we can’t allow toxic things to be in our schools. They could possibly have an allergic reaction (or) they could ingest it. It’s really a dangerous situation.”
Appearing on Fox & Friends Weekend, Riggs responded:
“Glue is a toxin if you eat it, but the reality is children don’t eat sunscreen and they’re not going to. Sunscreen isn’t a toxin or it wouldn’t be approved by the FDA. The FDA is there to regulate consumer products for consumers and make sure they’re safe and it’s one that’s FDA approved so I’m not sure where they’re coming from and neither are 96% of the population of the United States that have responded to this story.”
“In fact, one bad sunburn in your childhood or adolescence doubles your chance of developing skin cancer later in life. Those are facts. I don’t know where they’re coming from with their toxic…”
“In doing this story and getting it out there, I’ve heard back from other schools in the district and there are 72 schools in the district and not all of them are following it. The school district really needs to look at this and talk to the schools and regroup and realize how wrong this is.”
< This is one of a growing number of instances where school policies have been made with a complete lack of common sense. The district is so afraid of some kid reacting to or eating sunscreen that they are willing to jeopardize the health of the child by allowing them to get badly sunburned and increase their chances for developing skin cancer. Like Riggs mentioned, glue and a number of other substances found in schools are more toxic than sunscreen if swallowed. If they are worried about allergic reactions, I would think that would cause them to shut down their school cafeteria altogether. Some kid are allergic to dairy and nuts, others to wheat, others are gluten intolerant and so on. Using the district’s logic on the sunscreen, I think that serving lunches would be far more dangerous than allowing a student to use sunscreen. Besides, if a child was allergic to sunscreen, why would the parent send it with them to use on a field trip? That just completely undermines the district’s logic or lack thereof. If I were Christy Riggs, I would give the school district an ultimatum to immediately remove the ban on sunscreen or face a lawsuit for the willful endangering of a child’s health. If possible, I would also take her out of that school and either homeschool her or send her to a private school. Our public schools have stopped looking at students as being real people. They see them as future socialists that need to be trained into their way of thinking and nothing more.