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Putting The "Loco" In "In Loco Parentis"

In Chicago, school officials are deeply concerned about the nutrition of their students. So concerned, in fact, that they have decided that the best thing they can do to help the students is to ban them from bringing in their own lunches, and requiring them to buy their lunches from school.

I started writing reasons why parents might prefer to supply their kids with their own meals. My first thought was children with special nutritional needs, but that's covered -- if the parents get a note from their doctor, they're excused.

Then I thought of other reasons. The children might be vegetarians, and the school's choices not up to the parents' standards. The child might be Jewish or Muslim, and have cultural restrictions covering food preparations. The child simply might not like a hot lunch. The mother might be a very old-school kind of mom, and see it as part of her maternal duty and carrying on a family tradition by making her children's lunches. They might not want to have to keep track of the lunch schedule, and adjust the family's dinner accordingly.

And then I realized that to even offer such reasons was to concede the point to the Nanny Statists. that they had the right to make such a determination, and it was incumbent upon the parents to request exceptions. No, the only way to react to such a naked assertion of dominance is to reject it -- categorically, without explanation or concession or apology.

There are exactly two reasons why the Chicago school officials would make such a move. The first is the overweening need of liberals to control people, to keep them from making "wrong" choices by depriving them of the ability to make any choices at all. Because some parents are, in the eyes of the school officials, aren't as responsible with regards to their children's nutrition as they could be, then all the parents must be stripped of their rights to make such choices.

The second one is even older than the first: greed. Lunch programs are money-makers for schools. They almost always cost less to operate than they take in. And in the cases of poor parents, all the better -- they can qualify for subsidized or free lunches, so the parents don't even see the costs. All they have to do is swallow their pride and admit that they can't provide for their children to the satisfaction of the school officials.

The Chicago Tribune story opens with the description of a young student firebrand who is rebelling against the policy. May he have a thousand brothers and sisters, and may those thousand firebrands have courageous and supportive parents.


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Comments (25)

You missed one other thing ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

You missed one other thing as well. THe folks who provide the lunches are unions as well.

The worst part is those par... (Below threshold)

The worst part is those parents that are just fine with this. It absolves them of yet another responsibility to their children.

From the article: "The school food is very healthy," he said, "and when they bring the food from home, there is no control over the food."

There's that "control" word again.

Seems over the line to me. ... (Below threshold)
James H:

Seems over the line to me.

There's a difference between a school that, say, eliminate its in-house soda-vending machines and this kind of nanny-statism.

Looking back at my childhoo... (Below threshold)
James H:

Looking back at my childhood, I formed unhealthy eating habits not because of lunches brought from home, but because of unhealthy food that was available to me in school cafeterias.

The parents and the student... (Below threshold)

The parents and the students should really be up in arms and totally refuse to go along with this. I would take my child out of this school or move out of town. That is the best thing to do....get out until it is a ghost town.
Of course, there are those parents who would just love this idea, the less responsbility for them the better. They are the ones probably voted for Obama and they make it bad for all of us.

My school cafeteria provide... (Below threshold)

My school cafeteria provided meat loaf, a vegetable and mac and cheese. Then dessert. I am much older and I still live. How can that be? ww

Forcing citizens (subjects)... (Below threshold)

Forcing citizens (subjects) to buy something they do not want. I wonder where I've heard that song and dance before.

But Moochelle knows whats b... (Below threshold)

But Moochelle knows whats best for your kids. Thats why she looks like a moose.

Like all things with govern... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Like all things with government overreaching this is about he money. The school gets money for every meal it serves. For the kids that they cannot extort the funds from the school gets federal funding for the meals.

As the newspaper article says: the schools have seen a drop off in meal participation. In other words fewer kids are buying lunch so the school had no choice but to step in to force kids to buy lunch in order to keep the cash coming in.

Were we to hear soon that there is some sort of kickback coming from the food service provider I would not be surprised.

From the linked article:</p... (Below threshold)

From the linked article:

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

And that is the definition of liberalism.

That is where Obamacare is going. Change the word "students" to people and remove the word "food".

Libs. Always protecting us from ourselves.

Well, I've a better idea. How about minding your own damn business.

I volunteer one day a week ... (Below threshold)
Brian The Adequate:

I volunteer one day a week as a lunch/recess aide for a school. Even if the food is technically nutritious, about 1/4 of the kids will refuse to eat the slop on any given day.

Who wants to bet me that the kids who skip the school lunch are not going to go home and pig out on junk food?

Typical statist idiocy, control the masses for our own benighted good with a program gaurenteed to backfire and make the problems worse.

Sounds like some school off... (Below threshold)

Sounds like some school officials need to join the "funemployment" line.

Libs pull bullshit stunts like this, then scratch their asses, wondering "Why do people hate us so much?"

On the other hand, just more of that educational dumbing down of the masses. Gotta get the kids used to being dictated to by their 'betters'.

The end result of Departme... (Below threshold)

The end result of Department of ED.
The more school Lunches they provide the more Money the ED Department gives the school. So it went from "free Lunches" for the needy to providing it as an option to mandatory. There is not breakfast and there was talk last year of having school dinner.

Though I believe we need a longer school year. I fear that the next power grab will be the state trying to raise children.

They will have weekly inspections of your home and your fridge. This will grow the government

First I was going to say th... (Below threshold)

First I was going to say that here is another program that hurts the poor. Then you tell me that the poor can just fall back on the government tit. Oh great! More people eating my tax money. So this school food thing is hurting a wagon puller and more people get to hop on the wagon I'm pulling. Wonderful.

My daughter, even through h... (Below threshold)

My daughter, even through high school, took her lunch to school. The lunches, even though meeting "federal" guidelines, were generally to putrid to eat. If parents fed their kids food the equal of a school lunch program their kids would be taken away.

From the linked article:<br... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

From the linked article:

At Little Village, most students must take the meals served in the cafeteria or go hungry or both. During a recent visit to the school, dozens of students took the lunch but threw most of it in the garbage uneaten. Though CPS has improved the nutritional quality of its meals this year, it also has seen a drop-off in meal participation among students, many of whom say the food tastes bad.

So, the G says you do have a choice: take what we give you or go hungry. Parents, going on the G's tit to pay for the meals that their kids throw away, well it's all good. The G-approved vendor gets paid, and if the little brats don't want to eat what we feed 'em, well, let them be hungry. They'll come around eventually.

Are ALL of Chicago's parent... (Below threshold)

Are ALL of Chicago's parent, limp-wristed, spineless, pi$$-ants? Seems to me a few Dads should "approach" the various school principals with an OFFER they can't refuse--that is, mind their own friggin' business or recuperate for several weeks after talking lunches from their kids!!!

Anon Y. Mous The b... (Below threshold)

Anon Y. Mous

The beauty of all this was that the School Lunch/Breakfast program was conceived because "CHILDREN cannot do well in school if they are Hungry!"
Look they are sending backs of food home in NY.

Yet this school says eat what we give you or stave. Liberals screw you coming and going.

Also notice that while the ... (Below threshold)

Also notice that while the Chicago public school system has time to dig into important issues like this, a large percentage of their students are functionally illiterate and way behind the rest of the developed world in math and science.

I remember that Sec. William Bennett wrote in one of his books about addressing the Chicago public schools in their new multi-million dollar administration building. [The beautiful building beautifully demonstrated their priorities.] He called the Chicago schools the worst in the nation and referred to it as "educational meltdown". A head administrator was greatly offended by this are stood up to counter. He pointed out that Chicago was not the worst in the nation: Detroit was worse. Bennett responded by saying the man was guilty to "diminishing goals".

It's worse than you imagine... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

It's worse than you imagine on the school lunches.

Not only do school systems make a profit on the lunches themselves, but many of the general federal aid formula are based on the % of free/reduced price lunches. The DoEd measures poverty not by poverty rates in the state, city, or neighborhood, or even by the actual status of parents, but by this free lunch %.

Naturally, schools don't ask many questions if a parent claims the free lunch - usually it's just a matter of a form signed from a packet sent home from school, no income disclosure required. In fact, many schools actively follow up on those who do NOT claim them, advising the parents that it is free and all they have to do is sign the paper.

It's a huge scam on the federal taxpayer, so of course DoEd devotes a ton of resources to rooting out this fraud and abuse. Well, actually, they don't look at all, despite the overwhelming evidence. But this is the agency that "misplaced" $100 billion in the '90s, so what do we expect?

New proposal:1) Re... (Below threshold)
James H:

New proposal:

1) Replace playgrounds at school with woods, complete with wildlife (including ruminants, rodents, carnivores, what have you).

2) Give students the opportunity to purchase from school officials such tools as they believe meet their talents -- firemaking tools, pointy sticks, and so forth.

3) Let the students catch and cook their own damn lunches.

This will teach the kids valuable skills, including teamwork, self-reliance, hunting, and even bargaining. Imagine, for example, if one child is dismal at hunting skills, yet has exquisite firemaking skills. He could furnish fires for his fellow students in exchange for a share of their kills. And so forth.

Kids would also get plenty of exercise, I expect.

To show you the priorities ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

To show you the priorities of liberals.

There a millions of starving children in the world - yet food prices are driven up by ethanol production. And what does the UN do about it? Why they want to give trees and bugs the same rights as humans.


UNITED NATIONS — Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving "Mother Earth" the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.

The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to "dominate and exploit" — to the point that the "well-being and existence of many beings" is now threatened.

The wording may yet evolve, but the general structure is meant to mirror Bolivia's Law of the Rights of Mother Earth, which Bolivian President Evo Morales enacted in January.

That document speaks of the country's natural resources as "blessings," and grants the Earth a series of specific rights that include rights to life, water and clean air; the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.

You cant make this stuff up.

This reminds me of the old ... (Below threshold)

This reminds me of the old law in NYC that banned garbage disposals. It was so more garbage would have to be picked up, unions and democrats you know. This is like that except SEIU is running the cafeterias in the fine Chicago Public School System. Look who the top contributors are to Governor Quinns campaign.

Perhaps if the White house ... (Below threshold)
Don L:

Perhaps if the White house donated some of that protein-rich Kobe beef they're always chomping down....

DonL.Kid cannot ge... (Below threshold)


Kid cannot get that to much fat content.
5t Rule of Liberalism
Do As I SAY not as I do.






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