Food Allergy Bullying Leads to Death of 13 Year Old Boy, Arrest of Another


Following 12 days in intensive care, Karanbir Cheema, a 13 year-old boy who attended William Perkin Church of England High School in West London, died after suffering anaphylaxis at school.

Alice Hudson, executive head teacher, said, “Karanbir Cheema, known as Karan, was a popular Year 8 student. He had many friends who are devastated at his death, as are the staff.

“He was a bright and keen student who excelled in maths. Our thoughts and prayers are with Karan’s family.”

She went on to say, “(Karan) was able to come to the school office to indicate that he thought he was having an extreme reaction and they were able to immediately administer the normal treatment, which was kept in the office for his care.

“Very, very tragically in this situation this was not effective.”

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Karan was rushed to Great Ormond Street Hospital on Wednesday, June 28 where he remained in intensive care until he passed on Sunday.

A 13 year-old boy who attended the same school was arrested the day of the incident for allegedly flicking a piece of cheese into Karan’s mouth that caused the anaphylactic reaction. Karan was known to have suffered from food allergies.

The boy is out on bail pending a hearing in late July.

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Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the Cheema family. We wish them solace in the wake of the unimaginable loss of their son as the result of a schoolboy prank.

5.9 million children in the US – one in 13 or approximately two in every classroom – suffer from food allergies. We as a community must work toward the adoption of curricula in our schools where young students are taught the dangers of food allergies as they begin their education. We cannot allow senseless deaths like Karan’s to continue.

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Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom is CEO and "Blogger in Chief" of

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  1. I’m so sorry for the boy’s family…but I don’t believe that the other boy purposely tried to ‘kill’ him…
    So many lives ruined…

    • Not true, kids at my sons school tried to rub peanut butter all over him. They knew he had an allergy. One of the kids, a girl had known him since kindergarten. All aware of his allergy. They now conier it attempted murder.

  2. I’m sure the boy didn’t purposely try to kill him but children need to learn proper manners at the table and to respect other students space. And at 13 this is not unreasonable expectations. My granddaughter has food allergies and the lack of respect here really strikes a nerve

  3. Bulling like this is actually common even among adults, I had a incident like this when I used to try to hold a job. I have celiac disease and UC and very strong reactions to gluten. I also developed a bad corn allergy, lactose intolerance, whey allergy, peanut allergy, and even a slight allergy to olives, sesame seeds, and a few other random things.
    My incident entailed a co working intentionally eating his lunch a 7 layer burrito with gluten, corn, and dairy outside coming inside then throwing the wrapper in the trashcan next to my desk then rubbing his hands on my chair and desk while I was away…..this was caught on camera. I obviously found out the hard way when I sat down and had lunch a bit later at said desk, I had a rash from the corn, and gluten ataxia, and gut issues from the gluten exposure and had to go home sick and stuck in bed for the next day.
    I have since given up working in a Normal Environment and focusing on staying safe and living in my “Safe Home” trying to make a living selling Artisan Almond Butters, and gluten free baked goods at the local farmers markets and a small dedicated customer base.
    I dream of opening a Food Truck Business, and running a Paleo (Gluten, Grain, and Dairy Free) dedicated food truck. Goal is to provide great tasting safe foods for others with these allergy issues. One of these days lol If I get the money.

  4. “A childish prank” it is not! Children should be educated from a young age that exposing a child to his/her allergen is equal to holding a gun to their head. Throwing the allergen into their mouth is pulling the trigger. Take this seriously, it is serious. If I had not passed my son’s school just after a “friend” flicked milk at his face, and the medicine worked, I don’t know that he would still be here. And reporters are part of the dismissal machine; you have unbelievable power – if you shrug and call it a prank, it will continue to be viewed as such. Wake up.


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