I'm not saying the government is ever going to be better than the average parent, but it should at least be better than the worst, and I happen to feel that if such programs could help any child they are worth it.
He also said this:
My position isn't that they should be told things by *my* people or *your* people, but be told facts by doctors or at least specifically trained professionals.
In Part 1 the "trained professionals" were pushing for mandatory sex education for children as young as 4 in an attempt to curb teenage pregnancies and STDs. Let's see what they're pushing for today:
Children should be locked inside school grounds to stop them buying unhealthy food from shops and takeaways, a minister said yesterday.
The proposal comes amid new evidence that the Jamie Oliver-inspired drive to make school kitchens offer more nutritious meals is being shunned by pupils in favour of junk food.
It's not a stretch of the imagination to foresee a time when students will not be allowed to bring certain foods at all to school--in fact, it's already happening.
It may come as a surprise to my recent students, many of whom probably have lived under "closed campuses" their entire school lives, but I lived my entire school life in an "open campus" environment--even in elementary school. All it took was a note from home and we could leave school at lunchtime; of course, we went home to eat lunch, and got back in time, but it wasn't the school's business at all what we ate. In high school, we could leave campus any time we weren't in class.
California already has some law on the books about schools' not selling so-called junk foods to students. What's next, telling parents what they can and can't send to school in their children's lunches, and then inspecting those lunches to ensure parents comply? It's happening, and I wrote about it in a post called Lunchbox Voyeur.
So why, exactly, are so many students wanting to eat away from school? Let's return to the Mail Online article:
Virtually all the children who were allowed out bought food from local shops, mainly fizzy drinks, chocolate, sweets, crisps, cakes, biscuits and chips.
The researchers found it was not the healthy menus in school canteens that were deterring the pupils so much as long queues, poor facilities and high prices. (emphasis mine--Darren)
Interesting. Looks like the free market is providing a service that the government isn't, and at a more reasonable price. If you want to see more free market responses to these nanny-staters, look at the picture in the article, as well as its caption. It's a hoot!
One of my earliest blog posts was called School Lunches and the Nanny State. Government compulsion is alive and well in our schools, and it's pushing its way into what we teachers and students get to eat for lunch. Do you really want a government that intrusive, even if it's "good for you" or dictated by "specifically trained professionals"? I don't.
Update: if your children don't like the food that the government nutritionist thinks they should try, perhaps your kids are racists.
Toddlers who turn their noses up at spicy food from overseas could be branded racists by a Government-sponsored agency.
Some might suggest I'm being alarmist. After reading these stories about what socialist governments are doing, tell me I don't have a reason to be.
Update #2, 7/9/08: Drew Carey has an interesting take in this video, called Nanny State Nation: "Every little thing the government does is backed up by guns and force." That's part of the reason I don't want to give the government too much power, and part of the reason I've changed my mind over the past two decades and now firmly support the 2nd Amendment.