Thursday, December 19, 2013

Nuts Ban In Amherst Schools

Hi Larry:
I received your request for a copy of the report from the Wellness Committee about the consumption of nuts on school property.  With regard to the wellness subcommittee’s recommendation, I thought it might be helpful to outline the process I followed and the information I considered in establishing the allergy aware guidelines.   As per Policy ADF: Wellness, a subcommittee of the Wellness Committee was tasked with studying life-threatening allergies in the schools. The outcome of their work was the Life Threatening Allergy Guidelines document which was submitted to Dr. Brady and me for review. We fully reviewed this document, as well as the DESE guidelines, both of which note that surfaces need to be washed with appropriate cleaning materials before and after each meal period and that students must wash their hands with soap and water before and after eating. Recent CDE guidelines also support these measures.  These steps are to ensure that we minimize cross-contamination of tables, desks and other surfaces. 

Our schools have close to 100 students with peanut/tree nut allergies who, like all students, must be provided with the safest possible learning environment. The districts had already taken steps to that end, including eliminating peanuts and tree nuts from our food service program three years ago, and asking students not to eat on the buses two years ago. These steps were far from perfect, however.   We heard from a few families that they would not comply with student specific/class specific requests to avoid peanut/tree nut products unless it was a standard held for all students and faculty.  Also, Dr. Brady and I had significant concerns about the schools’ ability to implement the recommended safety guidelines with fidelity since we cannot ensure that all students are complying with hand washing, and we cannot ensure that all surfaces are cleaned properly since students eat in multiple locations, including snacks in their classrooms.  After much deliberation, my decision was to take what I believe to be the logical next step and ask all families and staff to refrain from bringing peanut and tree nut products into our schools. To support this, paragraph four on page one, which includes “allergy aware” language, was added to the Life Threatening Allergy Guidelines.  Even though we now exclude peanuts and tree nut products in our schools, we will continue to follow appropriate guidelines as well and to stress the continued education of students and staff regarding allergies.
The final document is attached.

>>> Larry Kelley <> 12/19/2013 4:57 PM >>>

So the Wellness Committee or sub-committee never recommended "ban nuts on school property during school hours", correct?

Sent: Thu, Dec 19, 2013 5:16 pm
Subject: Re: Public Records Request

Hi Larry,
That is correct- the subcommittee created the guidelines and I determined that we could not fully implement those with fidelity. Given that reality,  I was not comfortable with the risk for our students and took the additional steps of "banning" tree nuts and peanuts.

>>> Larry Kelley <> 12/19/2013 5:20 PM >>>
Hey Maria,

So are you now comfortable with the word "ban"?  Or is it still just a strong suggestion?



Sent: Fri, Dec 20, 2013 9:26 am
Subject: Re: Public Records Request

Hello Larry,
I've always been OK with acknowledging this as "you can't bring in tree nuts/peanuts." I want to be careful when using a term "ban" because I want to walk the line between sending a strong message that you can't bring this into our schools, and the reality that people with life threatening allergies must continue to be vigilent. I don't want to send the message that we can ever guarantee safety. In addition, we don't want to give the message that a student will be in "trouble" if they forget and bring in a peanut butter sandwich. For most people, the word ban is equated with a disciplinary response.
The term allergy aware is used to communicate the message that these guidelines are in place to help students avoid allergic reactions.  The guidelines include a number of other practices that are also part of the "allergy aware" school description. The goal is that combining these steps, including having no nut or nut products in the schools,will provide the safest environment for our students. 
Thanks for giving me the chance to clarify.


Anonymous said...

How many cases of anaphylaxis during school in the last year?

In the last 5 years?

In the last 10?

Jakers said...

Thanks for the post Larry. I hope you forward this to the Gazette. Maria Geryk and Faye Brady, the head of the Wellness committee were both quoted in the paper before as saying the subcommittee recommended the ban. So, why the deception? I wonder if this was a lame attempt to lend legitimacy to a controversial decision that the two of them came up with in order to minimize the public outcry. I hope the committee members come forward to set the record straight too.

Anonymous said...

I'd bring nuts to school out of spite.

Anonymous said...

How did you read the run on paragraphs?

I couldn't get through it!

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a parent of a child with a nut allergy, I don't consider him disabled in any way. And it would have been nice for the districtt to contact families and students and ask them what they think should be done.

Dr. Ed said...

How did you read the run on paragraphs?

Now, now....

Don't you understand that this is the "do as I say, not as I do" district? Where we ask children to learn the rules of grammar and construction that we, umm, don't know ourselves...

Where we tell children that they want to "stay in school" and graduate while the superintendent, umm, didn't. Wasn't she supposed to have at least bought (if not earned) a doctorate by now? Wasn't that part of some "understanding" or something relative to her contract?

Larry, why aren't you running for School Committee? I'll bet that you remember to renew your licenses....

Dr. Ed said...

And if I were a child who was allergic to nuts, I'd be horrified at how this was handled.

Anyone remember Phoebee Prince?

Children are incredibly cruel to anyone who is different, and children eat things like peanut butter because they enjoy it and will resent not being able to.

Whom do you think they are going to blame? And how difficult do you think it is going to be for them to find out whom the "100 students with nut allergies" are?

Do you honestly think that there aren't at least a few of them who will think it cute to, say, smearing peanut butter all over such child's face "just to see what will happen?" I used to drive a school bus, I've seen worse done -- although not with such potentially lethal consequences.

And it's one thing for the driver to intervene -- pull to the side of the road, securing the vehicle, walking down the isle and announcing "I really don't care who has her shoes, we're not going anywhere until both of them are back on her feet" -- adding "I'm paid by the hour, I really don't care how long we sit here, but some of you might, so maybe we can take a look around and see if we can find them?"

It helps to be 6'03" when you are dealing with (memory is) the bullies of the 5th Grade -- but it is one thing to get shoes & backpacks back to the rightful owner and convince the little darlings to leave each other alone, it'd be something else entirely to deal with anaphalatic shock in the chaos of a crowded school bus!

Developmentally -- com'on Team Maria, at least one of you has got to have taken at least one child development or psych class, you gotta know this too -- Developmentally, children do not (can not) understand the concept of mortality. They often don't understand that their actions could kill someone, and that the person will stay dead.

Even young adults (e.g. UM undergrads) still believe they are immortal -- it's why they do such stupid things that often wind up showing them that they aren't. It's why children can play with guns and wind up shooting themselves or another person without lethal intent. Mens Rea and all of that...

So they are being denied something they want, they will blame the person with the allergies for this, they are cruel and they are bored. It would not surprise me to see children maliciously exposed to allergens for entertainment purposes.

Were I a child with a nut allergy, or the parent of one, I'd be really worried at this point.

Anonymous said...

from the huffington post
But death by peanut is extremely rare. While estimates range from about 150 to 200 deaths a year from peanut allergies, reporting is spotty and not required, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially documents only 13 deaths (including six adults) between 1996 and 2006.

Anonymous said...

I think that it should be noted that a superintendent of schools felt that she needed to explain the logic of her decision-making to a blogger in Amherst.

That is to her credit.

Larry Kelley said...

Actually I think she was taking the time to explain it to my few thousand readers.

Channeling so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ed said...

And if I were a child who was allergic to nuts, I'd be horrified at how this was handled."

Ed, or if you were a person who even had a kids in school here, or had any sane reason to focus on Amherst.

Anonymous said...







Anonymous said...

Wish we could ban the NUTS who frequent this website.

Larry Kelley said...

Said the ...

Oh, never mind.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:32 who needs to know if there have been actual cases this year of anaphylaxis:

Yes, and that required emergency ambulance to the hospital.

What does that have to do with anything. State your case.

Anonymous said...

Slowly free thought and individual responsibility died a little more today. This is not just happening in Amherst but all around the country. People with allergies have to learn to live with them among the general population. Sure I might understand this ban better in the ES or MS (a bit of a stretch)as those kids are to young to understand, but by HS kids must start learning to fend for themselves.

I have allergies. They can be life threatening. I have learned much about my issues and protect myself well from that which might hurt or kill me. I don't expect anyone else to do it for me. Education is what these kids need, you know education, the thing they teach in schools. Oh wait I forgot, we are talking about Amherst School system and the incompetent leadership of Maria and company. Good luck kids.

Anonymous said...

The thing that unfortunately seems to be lost in this and many decisions being made is data or research. There is no data being presented that banning nuts in the schools does anything to save lives. Instead the superintendent has much deliberation and goes with her feelings. It feels good to ban nuts. It sounds great. Unfortunately, decisions by a superintendent should not be made that way.

The article in the gazette about suspensions showed this same flawed thinking. Students of color get suspended more, so lets stop suspending students. Sure, the number of students of color that get suspended goes down, but the actually problem is not being addressed.

Some students should not be accelerated in math, so lets not accelerate any of them.

The pattern of thinking from the superintendent is clear. When will the school committee challenge it?

Dr. Ed said...

Speaking of suspensions, WHEN will SOMEONE do a race-neutral study of the students suspended versus those who are not?!?!?!?!?

I'll tell you what the typical suspended student is: the male child of a single mother who replaces her live-in boyfriend with another every 4-5 months. A child with a father he rarely (if ever) sees and who likely isn't the father of his siblings, a child who lives in a noisy drug-infested apartment where education isn't valued.

Notice how I didn't mention race at all -- it's not the color of these children's skin but their parent that is the root cause of them being suspended with such frequency.

Anonymous said...

anon 7:11am the superintendent decided to ban nuts because the recommendations of the cdc couldn't be implemented, that's not a feeling. the data & research suggested protocol which could not be implemented, not because she felt her hunches trumped the data. do you get that?

she said she would like to see the elimination of suspension in favor of "more effective methods" of discipline...not no discipline at all. the actual problem would be addressed more effectively than just sending the kid out of the school with by implementing more effective methods of classroom and student management. Suspension is old school. Do you get THAT?

What happened to anon who wanted to know if there have been actual cases of anaphylaxis in the ARPS in this school year? (yes, complete with emergency ambulance rides to the hospital. not that that's why the supt said she made her decision or that it is data that makes any sense to include.)

Anonymous said...

Now that I look there's lots of scholarly research and data out there that suggests that suspension does not effectively address behavior problems, and probably has detrimental effects that send the desired outcome in the opposite direction. someone (anonymous 7:11 am) is not basing their opinions and on research and data but it aint the schools! it also looks like the state is in the process of creating guidelines that all public schools will need to follow about suspensions.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Yep, and then we wind up with a math teacher being sliced & diced in the bathroom...

Thank you Mitchell Chester...

Anonymous said...

The teachers are already spending to much class time on managing behavior. What is Ms. Geryk setting up to address this, and how long and how much $ will it take? Our kids are already losing out on learning time while feeling unsafe at times.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:11 here. I'm sorry my post was confusing. If you read it carefully and dare I say, think logically.....

The data and research is about banning nuts. There is no data she has shown that it is effective. Several people have said there is no research to support bans. The CDC does not recommend it. So, instead of going with the research (wipe tables and wash hands) she went with her own conclusion - ban nuts.

Suspensions - again, read carefully. The concern from the schools was about the number of students of color being suspended more than white students. Simply banning suspensions does not address the underlying problem. What is the underlying problem? Do they know? Your research on suspensions is commendable - it is just a separate question about whether suspensions are an effective punishment.

Problem solving is complicated. I do not expect everyone to understand logical solutions to challenging problems. I do expect that from our central office.

Anonymous said...

You're obviously getting impatient. But you're not gonna get the answers you're looking for here. It sorta sounds like you're doing the old "it's all lip service" routine, by asking a question that obviously no one here can answer. was your question rhetorical? If not, you should select a forum where the people you're talking to actually are present so they can answer. Otherwise, you're just contributing to the "big hot air balloon" perception of Amherst and it's residents and elected officials.

Anonymous said...

This is 2:32 my post was in response to 1:27pm.

Anonymous said...

There was a hell of a lot more recommended than washing hands and wiping down tables! Did you read the wellness committees recommendations or the cdc guidelines? Again, no the cdc did not recommend banning nuts, but what they did recommend can not be implemented "with fidelity". You are "cherry picking" the simplest recommendation, leaving out what would be required of staff and faculty. And could YOU even guarantee that all the children will wash their hands before and after every time they eat? Or guarantee that all the other recommendations will be followed, such as no eating on the buses?

And do the simplest of research and find that the supt favors "near-elimination" of suspensions as form of discipline--not a ban, as YOU say. get your facts straight E!

Anonymous said...

3,000 kids leaving out staff and faculty) eat twice a day at ARPS---the cdc recommends washing before and after each time, with soap and warm water, for 20 seconds, plus time drying with a fresh paper towel---that's 12,000 hand washes a day or 60,000 a week--that's a hell of a lot of soap, hot water, paper towels, and time! then add in the detergent and towels (and time!) it takes to wipe down tables in classrooms and cafeterias after every snack or lunch in five schools, 4 or 5 times a day---does anyone have the numbers on how much we spend on those things??

Or the better question, does anyone think that is actually happening? Should it be? Who should police the kids to make sure they are doing what the cdc recommends? what would it take to implement this recommendation?

Just a little fun with numbers.

Dr. Ed said...

As to the handwashing and basic sanitation of food contact surfaces, I'd hope to heck it's happening -- it isn't just nut allergies that you are worried about!!!

And if it isn't happening, I'd like to think that the local Board of Health might want to get their butts into those schools, damn fast, and do something to make sure it actually does happen.

Do you have any idea of how quickly an epidemic can spread through a school and then through the towns themselves? Things which can have a fairly significant death toll as well, usually killing off senior citizens but not always...

Never forget that the 1918-1919 outbreak of the flu killed more people than WW-1 did -- killed more healthy young people than the then-most-bloody war in history had!

If Team Maria want to get themselves sick, fine -- I'd just appreciate them not getting everyone else sick in the process.

Anonymous said...

Ed, do the schools in the town you live in follow all the CDC guidelines around hand washing and table sanitizing?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if "Jakers" is a combo of "J" from John and "aker" from Baker.

Anonymous said...

OK, so Ed has weighed in, he believes the Board of Health should be the entity which polices the high school students hand washing activity. You're gonna need a LOT of Board of Health employees in the high school, standing at EVERY sink, BEFORE every lunch and AFTER every lunch, and before and after any snacks are consumed, making sure every 14-18 year old washes their hands for 20 seconds and then dries them effectively. Or maybe we should task our teachers to do that. I dare say it would take longer than "checking each kid's lunchbox" (Baker) to make sure there are no peanuts in there!

Anonymous said...


reason to include that data is the question of whether the nut "ban" is in reaction to an epidemic of life threatening events so common that it makes sense to take such drastic measures contrary to the recommendations of the Wellness Committee and the CDC, OR is it an overreaction to a lot of parental anxieties?

Anonymous said...

Hey 2:51pm, could YOU guarantee that none of the students will bring nuts to school now? Could YOU guarantee that they won't eat them on the bus on their way? Drugs are banned in school and on the bus, yet they are still there. And so are nuts.
(I used caps because you obviously like them alot)

Anonymous said...

Read your facebook posts by the way. That Kurt G. is one angry little dude.

Anonymous said...

Can YOU guarantee that kids won't bring illegal drugs to school?

Of course there are people who don't follow rules.

What does that have to do with it.

Are you saying that schools are actually a more dangerous place because drugs are banned, because parents and kids will let their guard down?

Anonymous said...

10:37: or neither? Schools across the country (especially private schools) are not putting bans in place because of an epidemic.

Just like they don't do fire drills because of an epidemic of fires and fire related deaths in the ARPS's and other schools across the country.

But you've obviously got some other agenda than just responding to this topic of a nut ban.

Dr. Ed said...

he believes the Board of Health should be the entity which polices the high school students hand washing activity

Or perhaps educate them as to the need of it.

But I was much more worried about the tables not being wiped down, something that the Board of Health is, BY LAW, supposed to require/enforce/ensure.

And if nuts are so hazardous to some, why isn't there a problem with supermarkets? Hmmm????

This is about power and control -- we must FORCE the little caged animals to conform to our will lest they be able to become independent adults.

Dr. Ed said...

And I still say that someone with a nut allergy is gonna get his face smeared with peanut butter. Gonna happen.

We can thank Team Maria for it.

And 15 years later, the perps will be hired by the APD. That's how it works...

Anonymous said...

Someone wrote in the Gazette that if they were tasked to decide whether or not to impose a nut ban, the first thing she would do would be to count how many kids are allergic to nuts.

I suppose if she were tasked to decide whether or not to fund the APD's requests for bullet-proof vests and windows and heavy-duty defensive weaponry, she would count how many cops have been shot in Amherst in the last year? five years? ten years?

Anonymous said...

OK, Ed, so you're more worried about the tables being wiped down. So what what worries you. The cdc recommends 20 seconds of hand-washing before, 20 seconds of hand-washing after, every meal or snack, by every student. and the wellness committee recommended their recommendations. 12,000 hand-washes a day, not counting staff and faculty. Are they wrong to recommend this?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how many sinks with soap dispensers there are in the ARPS's? I'd like to do a quick analysis of how much time 12,000 hand washes across 5 schools would actually take.

Larry Kelley said...

At least Wildwood finally got new boilers so they have hot water.

Anonymous said...


"I suppose if she were tasked to decide whether or not to fund the APD's requests for bullet-proof vests and windows and heavy-duty defensive weaponry, she would count how many cops have been shot in Amherst in the last year? five years? ten years?"

Yes, of course.

These types of cost/benefit analyses are made all the time. That's why the police aren't driving armored personal carriers even though that *would* be safer.

Anonymous said...

Anon said, "Are you saying that schools are actually a more dangerous place because drugs are banned, because parents and kids will let their guard down?"
Uh, no didn't say that. But you are helping me make the point that kids will let their guard down regarding nuts. At least the way it was before, there was a CLEAR nut free zone and I know kids respected that, plus all of my kids had at least 1 kid they knew of that was allergic and they respected that too. Banning anything isn't the fix. Educating and respect is at least a start.

Anonymous said...

I know that if there were only one sink it would take 2.8 days or 67 hours to conduct 3,000 20 second hand washes. Let's just assume there are...100 sinks with soap dispensers available to the kids.

Is it logical and reasonable to assume that the schools can follow the cdc's recommendations, and spend 40 minutes per day washing hands? That does not include the time it takes for them to dry their hands effectively, in the manner recommended by the cdc.

Of course that's not counting the time, for example, it would take a middle school kid to walk from the caf to wherever the sinks with soap are. and of course each school would need to figure out a way to be certain each kid was doing it, and correctly.

In a kindergarten class, with 20 kids, who eat their snacks and lunches in a classroom with one sink, that's 80 hand washes per day at 20 seconds, or 27 minutes per school day spent washing hands. Plus time drying their hands in the manner recommended by the cdc.

And none of this takes into account the cost of 12,000 units of soap per day, 12,000 paper towels per day (I find online that the least expensive paper towels cost about $30.00 a case and contain 4,000 sheets, so that's 3 cases a day or $90.00 a day, or $16,200 a year for paper towels,) and the cost of the amount of hot water needed for 12,000 washes.

This is just one very small example of how it would be next to impossible to implement the recommendations of the cdc and the wellness committee.

Anonymous said...

No cop has ever been shot in Amherst, and yet they have determined that bullet proof car windows, bullet proof vests, defensive weaponry, and a host of other expensive resources are necessary and they get funded. Why?

Anonymous said...

A kid or their parents who have experienced an anaphylaxis fit or know they could die by exposure are not going to let their guard down, that's been clearly demonstrated by parents of kids with the allergies. You have no evidence to support your claim that kids with allergies will let their guard down, it's an entirely unsound, desperate and fallacious argument.

Anonymous said...

"if there were only one sink it would take 2.8 days or 67 hours to conduct 3,000 20 second hand washes."

I should have said to conduct 12,000 hand washes.

Anonymous said...

The argument that the schools are more dangerous because of the ban is just a "hunch".

Anonymous said...

At least the way it was before, there was a CLEAR nut free zone and I know kids respected that

Nut free zones do nothing to prevent kids who have PB on their hands and who didn't was correctly from transferring the toxic substance onto other common equipment, like playground equipment or door handles. kids experience anaphylaxis all the time by this kind of indirect contact. So a nut free zone doesn't work.

Banning anything isn't the fix.

So I guess you are also against the ban of cigarette smoking in bars and restaurants and other public indoor (and outdoor) spaces?

Anonymous said...

"Nut free zones do nothing to prevent kids who have PB on their hands and who didn't was correctly from transferring the toxic substance onto other common equipment, like playground equipment or door handles. kids experience anaphylaxis all the time by this kind of indirect contact. So a nut free zone doesn't work."

And neither will a ban that kids don't follow

Anonymous said...

And that will make it an even more dangerous place. Got it, you don't need to tell me again. But I'm still waiting for the evidence and data that supports that claim.

And most people of conscience are following the protocols put in place, people like you who thumb their noses at rules and regulations will always be a problem in our society, like drug dealers and drunk drivers.

I wonder, do you think the roads are even more dangerous now, that driving while intoxicated is illegal, than before the rules were implemented and steadily strengthened and enforced? Because even though drunk driving is banned, some people aren't following the rules. Do you let your guard down when you're driving late at night, because you assume there are no drunk drivers out there?

Do you understand how flawed and illogical your argument is? Or are you just sticking with your "hunch" that the schools are more dangerous now?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous December 22, 2013 at 10:57 PM:

Contact me if you ever want to step outside of cyberspace and tell me how you feel about me face to face. Anytime. Otherwise I'll know your a cowardly little wuss who hides behind Larry and your anonymity.

Kurt Geryk

Anonymous said...

Some people here are so busy stuffing words into other peoples mouths, that they don't hear what they are actually saying. Put down your egos, stop making assumptions, and listen for a change.
And really, Kurt, you just made their point.

Kurt G. said...

Their point was invalid because they failed to mention that not only am I angry and little but I'm also mean and rude.

You can feel free to contact me and speak to me face to face as well.

Dr. Ed said...

No cop has ever been shot in Amherst, and yet they have determined that bullet proof car windows, bullet proof vests, defensive weaponry, and a host of other expensive resources are necessary and they get funded. Why?

Same reason the APD bought a damn tank.... It's a cross between paranoia and having too much money to spend, along with egos and the desire to show off.

As an aside, how much is it costing to merely MAINTAIN that tank? It's gonna need to be driven from time to time, it's going to need parts and tires and everything that is involved in keeping a vehicle roadworthy.

Dr. Ed said...

Kurt Geryk -- if I remember correctly, you run a bicycle shop. Bicycles are dangerous -- remember the fatal accident last spring -- and unlike in a car, there's neither crumple zones nor seat belts.

And as someone licensed to drive "any vehicle" (yes, I could drive a load of nuke waste through downtown Amherst), I can tell you that bicycles (or actually some of the idiots operating them, not all but enough) are a freaking nightmare to a truck driver.

Trucks are important -- everything (including your bicycles & parts) -- food, fuel, beer, copies of the New York Times -- everything arrives via truck.

My dear Mr. Geryk, by your own logic supporting the nut ban, we should ban bicycles. After all, we're saving lives and all the rest.

OK, how is it different? Remember that everyone on a bicycle could either walk or take the PVTA -- you only are taking away their freedom.

Dr. Ed said...

One other thing Kurt -- my nephiew has serious food allergies -- he is allergic to milk.

Now would you ban milk from the school district were he attending in Amherst (and not the saner community he does attend school in)?

Why not?

May I suggest that this is fascism instead of freedom, control instead of community building.

Heck, what your wife really ought to do is teach the older kids what an EpiPen is and how to use it if the person himself/herself/itself isn't able to and there aren't any adults around -- I knew when I was in high school, but then I was also using a chain saw and firing a rifle (not concurrently).

Come to think of it, I knew how to use it in Middle School --- my mother's allergic to bee venom and I also knew that it wasn't a toy and not to screw around with it. In some very small way, I was responsible for someone else.

That's what I mean by "control versus community" -- and may I suggest that you (or actually your wife) will do a lot better with kids invested in not exposing their friends to allergens than the jack-booted fascist approach -- even if it makes administrators feel more powerful.

Kurt Geryk said...

I actually do support a ban on riding the hallways, cafeterias, and classrooms, and on the playgrounds, of the Amherst Regional Public Schools.

I would not support a societal ban on riding bicycles, just like I would not support a ban that would restrict anyone's right to go to Bart's and buy a peanut butter cookie and walk down the street with it, or onto a PVTA bus with it, or into a private retail store with it (although many private retail stores have imposed restrictions on food and drink.)

How is it that someone who studied education for as long as Dr. Ed could so completely lose sight of the fact that we're talking about the public school environment in Amherst here, not society at large?

Ed's is one more in a long string of weak and ineffectual arguments expounded by a very small group of people who think that a bunch of letters after their names endows them with an irrefutable sense of logic and reason.

Kurt Geryk