An 8-year-old San Diego girl with a severe peanut allergy recently described a frightening incident in which she was made fun of for having a food allergy.
Kyla Williamson first told our media partner Voice of San Diego that earlier this year she was bullied with a celery stalk of peanut butter.
“I was just sitting at the peanut free table and there was this boy and he kept bossing me with peanut butter,” she told NBC 7.
The incident happened in May at Benchley Weinberger Elementary School in Del Cerro when Kyla was sitting at the school’s peanut-free table. She was with her sister Emma—who also serves as her food allergy buddy—when she says the boy waved a celery stalk with peanut butter at her.
“People told him to stop but nothing worked,” she said. “Putting it in my face and putting it behind me.”
She said she felt sad - and scared.
“Because I though he was going to touch with me with the peanut butter and I was going to get hives all over me and I was going to get an allergic reaction,” Kyla said.
Her mother said Kyla’s allergy to peanuts can affect skin and eyes, and cause respiratory and cardiac problems.
“She could very well have gone into anaphylaxis,” her mother said.
Kyla said her teachers and school nurse always have Benadryl and an epinephrine pen at the ready, but she and her mother wish other adults and students knew the potential consequences of this kind of bullying.
School officials were told about the incident, and they talked to the boy.
“He apologized like three months later, he wrote a sorry card,” Kyla said. “He made me feel happy about my peanut allergy and people weren't bossing me around. So apology accepted.”
The boy who bullied her understands now, and the hope is others will too -- sooner rather than later, when there could be so much at stake.
“It's unfortunate it went in that order,” said her mother. “That she was bullied and he was educated but at the end of the day he was educated.”