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Clawson School Board member's 'shoot kids' joke costs her job

On the subject of kids with food allergies, trustee Linda Grossman made a joke that hasn't gone over well with parents.
On the subject of kids with food allergies, trustee Linda Grossman made a joke that hasn't gone over well with parents.

CLAWSON, Mich. – The Clawson School Board was hearing a presentation about food service when somebody mentioned that one school has 20 kids with food allergies.

Trustee Linda Grossman made a joke that hasn't gone over well with parents or her colleagues.

"We should just shoot them," she said.

Some laughter was heard at the meeting, but parent Hugheen Fabinski isn't laughing. Her 2-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter have food allergies.

"I cannot believe that comment was made. I was livid," she said. "Unbelievable. Whether or not it was food allergy related, to suggest shooting any child?"

Fabinski said food allergies are not a laughing matter. They are a matter of life and death.

"The kids can't have peanuts, so we have almond butter," she said.

Superintendent Monique Beels was sitting next to Grossman when she made the comment.

"We were all stunned. Stunned, outraged," said Beels.

Grossman submitted a letter of resignation on Tuesday.

"It was an extremely inappropriate comment made at a time when she's representing our district," said Beels.

Parents also are upset about how school leaders reacted to the wise-crack.

"I think the other school board members should also be reprimanded to some level because they were laughing about it. They thought it was funny," said Tom Johnson, a parent.

However, parents of kids with food allergies said they think Clawson schools do a good job protecting the health of their children.

"I think they've done a pretty stand-up job, as far as the school itself," said Johnson.