Kids with peanut allergies always talk about the peanut free table (or lack thereof). Here is my experience with it.
My school (which I have been attending since kindergarten) had a peanut free table when I was in elementary school. It was a lonely place far from where my friends sat. I chose to sit with my friends, all of whom were aware and conscientious about my allergies, and who did not eat nuts in front of me. This continued in middle school. The peanut free table was not such a lonely place anymore, however. One of the after school care kids had an allergy, and each day a few of his classmates were assigned to sit with him. (“Assigned”… is that not an awkward situation?) Then high school came, and my friends stopped eating in the cafeteria. We eat in a classroom together now, and they still refrain from eating nuts next to me.
Peanut free tables are a great idea meant to keep kids safe. Practically, they are fabulous. You don’t have to worry about what the kid before you ate, or how well the tables were cleaned. Emotionally, however, I disagree with the premise of the table. You become an outcast. The teacher may assign a few kids to bring safe food and sit with you, but that is awkward. I would rather sit with friends who are careful with what they eat, and clean the area where I plan to sit first.