When a teacher thinks it is her job to correct parents on their lunch choices, we need to ask where she got the idea that was her job.
Maybe you don’t think children should eat Oreos. Maybe you don’t care. But the wonderful way the world works is that what food your children eat is between you and them. It doesn’t involve you making decisions for what my children eat or me making decisions about what your children get for lunch.
So where does a teacher get the idea that this is any of her business?
But one did.
According to ABC News, ”
Leeza Pearson was out of fruit and vegetables one day last week, so she tucked a pack of Oreos in her daughter Natalee’s lunch and sent her off to school at the Children’s Academy in Aurora, Colorado.
Pearson said she was stunned when her 4-year-old came home later in the day with the cookies untouched and a sternly worded note from the school.
“Dear Parents, it is very important that all students have a nutritious lunch. This is a public school setting and all children are required to have a fruit, a vegetable and a healthy snack from home, along with a milk. If they have potatoes, the child will also need bread to go along with it. Lunchables, chips, fruit snacks, and peanut butter are not considered to be a healthy snack. This is a very important part of our program and we need everyone’s participation,” read the note, provided to ABC News by Pearson.
Required? Is that a law? Are there penalties attached?
Pearson said she is baffled by how the school handled the situation.
“I think it is definitely over the top, especially because they told her she can’t eat what is in her lunch,” Pearson told ABC News. “They should have at least allowed to eat her food and contacted me to explain the policy and tell me not to pack them again.”
Officials at the Children’s Academy said they have no comment when contacted by ABC News. However, Patty Moon, a spokeswoman for the Aurora Public Schools, which provides funding for some of the children to attend the private pre-school, said a note in the lunchbox is not supposed to be standard practice.
“From our end we want to inform parents but never want it to be anything punitive,” Moon said.
Moon said the school was just trying to promote healthy eating but Pearson said that effort has often been inconsistent. During this year’s Easter holiday, for example, she said the school asked students to bring in candy for the celebration. Her daughter also receives jelly beans as a snack when she stays for after-school care, Pearson said.
This is so typical. Just like in the case of time spent with the family on an educational trip, the school holds us to standards that it demands. But school teachers and administrators do what they please and expect the rest of us to keep quiet and comply. If they want to feed the kids jelly beans, that’s their right and we should shut up about it. If they want to tell us Oreos are banned, that’s their right and we should shut up about it.
It is fairly obvious from the response of the Aurora Public Schools spokesperson, that the school administrators have in fact encouraged that kind of arrogant, nanny-state attitude on the part of their teachers.
Notice one other thing. This is a private school getting “public” dollars for children to attend. Once the money comes from the government, so does government control and government agendas. And the people who are supposed to be the customers get treated with contempt because making them happy is no longer a priority need for the school.