Mom says teacher’s carelessness could have killed daughter with nut allergy

CAHOKIA, IL (KTVI) – An East St. Louis mom is demanding better teacher training, alleging a teacher's science experiment using a nut powder could've killed her 14-year-old daughter, who suffers from a severe nut allergy.

Lakeesha Rhodes said she can't understand how a science teacher ignored her daughter's condition. She has a clear message not just for parents, but also for educators.

Myleisha Rhodes' allergy won't allow her to be near food that contains even the slightest form of any nut.

So last week during science class at Estelle Sauget School of Choice, Myleisha noticed her teacher with something that she said could've killed her.

"When she brought it out and I saw ‘pistachio’ written on it, I kind of got scared because I didn't know what we were about to do,” Myleisha. “I didn't know if we were going to eat it."

Myleisha said the teacher told her it was an ingredient for a class experiment.

"When I told her that I didn't feel safe in there, she told me that it's in powder form," Myleisha said.

Myleisha told the teacher she felt uncomfortable and was sent straight to the principal's office where she called her mom.

“It's ignorant. It's negligent. It's endangering her," Lakeesha said.

When Lakeesha finally met with the teacher to inquire about the incident, she said she couldn't believe the response.

"I just don't understand why that was a good idea, so she tells us that she forgot that a student had a peanut allergy, I told her that is unacceptable, your mistake could've killed my child,” she said. “She carries Epipens for this allergy."

Lakeesha said her daughter's trained for moments like this since she was two-years-old. She said that training saved her daughter’s life.

"I need (teachers) to understand how serious it can be. Whatever training they need to take, it needs to be given,” Lakeesha said. “…And it's very important for parents to teach their children the importance of knowing what they are allergic to."

Lakeesha said she plans to be at the next board meeting requesting more education and better training on this matter. Meanwhile, school officials said they will not comment on such matters.