A banana. PB & J. Some chips. Maybe a cookie. And a box of apple juice.
“Hmmm…What are…things you eat for lunch at school when you’re a kid?”
“Oh, I’m sorry Janet. The answer we’re looking for is ‘things you eat for lunch at school when you’re a kid unless you attend Chicago’s Little Village Academy.’ Looks like Sonny Jim takes the lead.”
“In your face, Janet!”
Mocking facial expressions and lewd hand gestures ensue.
Elsa Carmona is the principal of Little Village Academy in Chicago. Along with her teaching degree, Carmona also has a master’s degree in food sciences, an associate’s in human development, and devotes her most of her spare time to the nutrition research program at the Mayo Clinic. She really is quite gifted.
Oh, and she has one more degree. A doctorate in BS from What Gives You The Right university.
It’s in Texas. Google it if you don’t believe me.
No, Ms. Carmona doesn’t have any of the degrees I mentioned. As far as I can tell, she’s just a regular elementary school principal. What she does have though, is quite a high level of audacity. Principal Carmona has banned home-made lunches from her school’s cafeteria.
“Yeah, well stranger things have happened.”
The fact that one principal, in charge of one school, decides that she’s the queen of nutrition and knows more about what’s best for her students than their parents do doesn’t surprise me.
What gets me is that it’s happening in other places too.
A school in Tucson, Arizona won’t let kids bring anything for lunch that contains refined sugar, white flour, or any other kind of processed food. A few schools in New York have banned cupcakes. Schools in numerous locations throughout the country ban their students from eating take-out for lunch.
“They’re only doing this because of the childhood obesity epidemic. Leave them alone…”
No, I don’t think I will.
Childhood obesity starts at home, and that’s where it needs to be dealt with. Rather than banning sack lunches or certain foods from school cafeterias, maybe the district should offer some educational resources for the parents. Or at the very least, if the schools are going to institute a ban like this, they need to be chipping in to help finance these meals.
The bottom line is, schools don’t have the right to tell parents what to feed their kids. Granted, many parents probably need to step it up in the nutrition department. But outlawing cupcakes, and the ‘eat school lunches or go hungry’ mandates infringe on some very basic rights, not only of the parents, but of the students as well.
We need to remember the function of public schools in our society; to teach our children basic academic skills. Schools are not daycares, nor the teachers nursemaids. It is not the responsibility of public schools to raise our kids or monitor what they consume.
Stories like this make me wonder what’s next. Nightly visits from school officials, making sure mom didn’t undercook the chicken? Frisking students for Pixie Stix at the door? Mandatory hypodermic broccoli injections?
I can just see the headlines now.
“NATO Forces Losing Ground As The Great Twinkie Revolt Of 2011 Rages On”
We’re gonna need another federal stimulus package to get through this one.