Monday, April 11, 2011

School Forbids Student Lunches From Home

Wow. If I were a parent at this school I'd probably sue:
At his public school, Little Village Academy on Chicago's West Side, students are not allowed to pack lunches from home. Unless they have a medical excuse, they must eat the food served in the cafeteria.

Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.

Remember, Idiot Elsa has a college degree--maybe even a masters degree.

Any parent who would submit to that almost deserves anything they get. Fortunately, I'm not the only person who thinks this policy is a little cuckoo:
"This is such a fundamental infringement on parental responsibility," said J. Justin Wilson, a senior researcher at the Washington-based Center for Consumer Freedom, which is partially funded by the food industry.

"Would the school balk if the parent wanted to prepare a healthier meal?" Wilson said. "This is the perfect illustration of how the government's one-size-fits-all mandate on nutrition fails time and time again. Some parents may want to pack a gluten-free meal for a child, and others may have no problem with a child enjoying soda."

For many CPS parents, the idea of forbidding home-packed lunches would be unthinkable. If their children do not qualify for free or reduced-price meals, such a policy would require them to pay $2.25 a day for food they don't necessarily like.

"We don't spend anywhere close to that on my son's daily intake of a sandwich (lovingly cut into the shape of a Star Wars ship), Goldfish crackers and milk," education policy professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach wrote in an email. Her son attends Nettelhorst Elementary School in Lakeview. "Not only would mandatory school lunches worsen the dietary quality of most kids' lunches at Nettelhorst, but it would also cost more out of pocket to most parents! There is no chance the parents would stand for that."
Yet another stupid idea out of Chicago--you know, like an unprepared president or something.


Mr. W said...

I'm surprised no one has sued because they are being forced to buy a school lunch. That has to be illegal. Normally the ACLU would be all over this, but since the poor kids are taken care of the rest of the students don't have a voice.

HappyChyck said...

Wow, I guess they don't need Jamie Oliver at that school. I would be livid because our school lunches are horrible and expensive for those who pay.

I've been thinking about the things we really should not have to do for students at school, and feeding them would be one. Which one of us is the radical?

Happy Elf Mom said...

The issue is NOT "healthier meals." It's all about control. If I want to send my kid to school with a soda with his sandwich sometimes, it's NOBODY's business.

I have six children and do NOT qualify for free lunches. 6 x 2.25 per DAY = $13.50 daily for my kids to attend school. That's $67.50 a week or, in the case of a 180-day school year, $2,430.00!! If I had only one child, a school lunch makes sense, but with a large family I can buy in bulk and do things way cheaper.

I'm not a charity case, but $2,430 is over two and a half mortgage payments for me. I honest to goodness can't afford that, but I can't rightly say I'm a charity case, either. I'm one of those crazy people who have about that much saved in case the furnace goes out or life happens. I just CANNOT afford to squander it on reheated macaroni.

mrelliott said...

While I in no way support the idea of a school taking parents and childrens rights away. I do believe there is a parenting problem in our society. Too often I saw at my school, parents bringing their kids bags of McDonalds, pizzas, donuts, etc. into the cafeteria because their children wanted that to eat rather than the more nutritional selection the cafeteria was serving.

For the older teens who could eat off campus, the lunch of choice was a bag of chips and a soda from the convenience store down the street.

That being said, the school has gone way beyond their boundary of responsibility.

Anonymous said...

What I find an interesting disconnect is that the free school lunches are provided (partially) because of the idea that hungry kids can't pay close attention to the teacher.

But for the non-poor kids, if the parents don't/won't kick in $11.25 per week the kids *HAVE* to go hungry.


Plus the whole who is in charge of raising the kid thing, of course ...

I homeschool for academic reasons, but every so often something like this causes me to just shake my head ...

-Mark Roulo

PeggyU said...

Some days lunch is the only bright spot in the school day. I usually tried to make sure my kids had a healthy lunch with a treat thrown in.

KauaiMark said...

Have parents actually seen what the massed produced school lunches consists of?

I have! I wouldn't eat it if they paid ME!

Anonymous said...

Our school lunches consist of something fried every day. As a faculty member I pack my lunch every day. I wouldn't eat that stuff and I absolutely refused to allow my kids to eat that. They were both athletes and they knew enough to know that eating that stuff would affect their performance.

Jamie Oliver has the right idea just the wrong way of going about it.

Ellen K said...

I refuse to eat the product of our union, contract and largely foreign labor group in our school. What you get is expensive. And wait, there's more, it's also rationed. I have had 300 pound football players begging for candy from the faculty machine because lunch consists of barely enough calories to keep their engines running. The veggies are almost always canned and overcooked. The meat is indescribable. I haven't eaten a school lunch since third grade-and even then I would go home for lunch if I had the chance. As it is, by the time I chase kids out of the room, I have maybe 15 minutes to heat up something in the microwave and eat it. Less if we are testing. But that's still better than what is served in our school. The irony is that healthy alternatives are available from local fastfood vendors. Everyone one of them could offer a low cost, healthy lunch for kids. But the schools won't hear of it. Someone's getting a kickback.....