Is there room for essential oils in the school system?

Essential OilsA recent controversy regarding the use of essential oils at school has caught the attention of many parents of children with special needs, including myself.

The first story is of Logan Kemp, a 5 year old kindergartner at Seminole Springs Elementary School, who was threatened with suspension because of the essential oils he was wearing.  Logan’s mother had received a letter from the school advising her that some students where having an adverse reaction to the smell.

School officials have since said they will work with family to find a better solution than suspension.

In another article, school nurses at Park Elementary School in Casper, Wyoming will no longer be permitted to apply essential oils to students due to the increase in asthma attacks and allergic reactions since last year.

These stories have stirred up many strong opinions from both sides of the fence.   On one side we have the parents that have used essential oils on their children (neurotypical kids as well as special needs) with many raving about the benefits and changes they have seen in them.  The changes they have seen range anywhere from being more calm to being more alert.

On the other side we also have the parents whose children have serious allergic reactions to scents and fragrances; causing some to have an asthma attack.  Placing them in an environment with such smells could have a very serious effect on their health.essential oils

So is it possible to incorporate the use of essential oils in school without violating or intruding on the rights of the next student that has the serious allergic reaction, and if so, how do we do that?

Some have suggested that if scent is an issue, to apply the essential oils on the feet, followed by socks and shoes.  This should diminish if not completely eliminate the smell.   Another suggestion has been to try diluting the oils to reduce the scent.

When smell is not an issue and it isn’t affecting anyone in the classroom then I believe the child should be able to wear the oils if it helps them throughout their day.

I don’t believe there should be a “one size fits all” type of approach.  I believe such decisions should be made on an individual basis and always with the best interest of all the students involved in the classroom.

I don’t think there would be one parent that would insist on using essential oils on their child knowing there would be another child suffering from a severe allergic reaction to it.

I would like to think that as adults we are capable of making sound judgements about issues like this without having a government body intervening and regulating something as simple as essential oils.

I believe every child has the right to a proper education; the child with special needs that has an IEP program to help them achieve their academic goals; the child with ADHD that uses essential oils to help calm them and stay focused during their day as well as the child that can experience allergic reactions to certain foods and/or smells.

Each one of these children has the right to go to school and receive an education without discrimination.

Parents and school administrators should work together to come to a mutual agreement on how the essential oils can and should be administered without being intrusive to others.

I find it rather odd though that no mention is ever made about teachers and staff that wear perfume or cologne.  Would this not also be an intrusive and offensive smell to those that have allergies?  Why would essential oils be different?

Comments are welcome.


  1. Annalaura brown April 16, 2015
  2. Claudine Davis-Whitely April 16, 2015
  3. Phil Barnhart April 20, 2015