It Could Happen Here…

And probably will eventually, the way things are going in this world!

Thanks to Sandy over at Junkfood Science for finding this story out of Australia:

Lunch box police

Well, it’s happened. School principals in Australia want teachers to have the power to police lunch boxes from home to remove any offending cookies or chips that are deemed by the State Government as unhealthy. Victorian Principals Association chief Fred Ackerman has backed the move, according to the Herald Sun, saying teachers need the authority to enforce ‘healthy eating’ habits.

The problem with allowing government/special interests in deciding on what is or is not ‘healthy’ is that they tend to go overboard. The word ‘moderation’ seems to cease existing for them. Once they decide that cookies are bad, then even eating one cookie per year is bad.

The really frightening sentence above is (emphasis is mine):

Victorian Principals Association chief Fred Ackerman has backed the move, according to the Herald Sun, saying teachers need the authority to enforce ‘healthy eating’ habits.

I’m all for educating people about “healthy eating habits”, but I have a problem when some official starts using words like “need the authority to enforce”. It is NOT up to schools or teachers to tell parents that they are not allowed to let their children have a little desert or treat with their lunch. Such a thing presumes that the parents do not feed their children breakfast or dinner or any healthy food.

I remember when my son was about 3 or 4, he went through a period where he would eat nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I was concerned and spoke to his doctor who assured me that it was perfectly alright and quite common. Apparently all kids do it with one food or another at some point and it usually doesn’t last long at all. She was correct for about 2 months later he started wanting other foods.

For the most part, PB&J sandwiches are the easiest to pack for a child’s lunch as you don’t have to worry about it spoiling. Can you imagine a school banning ‘jam’ or ‘jelly’? You have to wonder what they are thinking and then worry that these same people are actually in charge of ‘educating’ your child?

“Teachers in Victoria should have the power to be lunch box police so they can confiscate chips, chocolates and sugary sweets to ensure children are healthy,” the principals said. They’ve found themselves pitted against parents who are reported to be against schools becoming a “nanny state” and that they will continue to put treats in their child’s lunch. The Herald Sun added that: “Education Minister Bronwyn Pike also said she was against the idea of taking parents’ lunch box rights away.”

You can read the FULL STORY here.

Were I one of those parents, I’d be taking the schools to court for trying to usurp my right as my child’s primary guardian/educator and would yank my kids out of school – hiring a tutor if I couldn’t home-school myself personally.

Schools are to teach academics. Schools education should mirror and reinforce parents’ life skills training, which would include the various ways to eat healthy (given allergies and personal preferences, yes there are various ways). Schools are NOT supposed to be monitoring what lunches a parent gives to their child. It is NONE of there business. For all they know, that PB&J sandwich and one cookie is all they could afford to give the child, who would be going home for a decent dinner anyway. I mean eating healthy isn’t exactly cheap and if a main meal is dinner, as it is for most folks, then lunch doesn’t have to contain all the food groups every single day.

What exactly do we teach children with these bans? Certainly not self-responsibility and thinking. They only need ‘nanny’ to tell them what not to do, rather than think and make a decision based on good information.

Anyone who thinks this couldn’t happen here, obviously has their head in the sand. I mean we have schools banning the game of tag as it might harm some child, either physically or emotionally……….food allergies are running rampant (makes me wonder about all this over protection that children’s immune systems are so weak these days), it will only take one threat of a lawsuit from a parent whose kid is allergic to milk against a school not banning all dairy products.

What is more frightening is that all these over-protected kids will one day be the worlds’ leaders. How can they lead if they’ve never had to think or take responsibility for themselves?

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~ by swfreedomlover on January 26, 2009.

3 Responses to “It Could Happen Here…”

  1. It’s already happening here, to a certain extent, with schools banning cookies/cupcakes for birthdays. And NuValT (owned by Griffin Hospital in Connecticut and Topco LLC) have come up with a morality scoring system for food in grocery stores that will be posted on shelves along with the price and other information. If the food has too much fat, sugar, salt, or calories (according to their algorithm) it will get a low rating. The people who created this algorithm have a conflict of interest, IMO, since some of them have published diet books and are big on weight loss and diet as disease prevention measures. They seem to think that if you follow their guidelines, you can prevent heart attacks, strokes, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases (which gets back to the food police knowing what is healthy for everyone, as if health is a one-size-fits-all proposition). This is not a cookie-cutter world and those o-s-f-a measures don’t work for the majority of people, but they sure seem to make a lot of money for the people who create and market them.

  2. When I was 15 I was a bit overweight and went on a diet, ultimately losing 25 pounds which was perfect at the time. I did start exercising, but I also hit on the perfect diet: only eat the food I like. At lunch at school I ate only cookies and sometimes a Suzy Q. It worked, my taste buds were satisfied and I ate less. Thank god those policies weren’t in place back then, or I’d have probably stayed fat. Seriously, though, schools should encourage exercise and have phys ed as a real part of the routine. That would do more than trying to police food.

  3. This whole “one-size-fits-all” mentality is really out of hand! Unfortunately, what has really aided it’s progress, was the tobacco control movement. As soon as it became acceptable to treat people using legal products like lepers, then labeling them murderers etc, blaming all disease on their smoke…….I knew where it was going and knew it wouldn’t stop with cigarettes. If you look and listen to the information, it is the same as the anti-smoking people use, they just change ‘smoking’ to ‘obesity’ or whatever other thing they are trying to get rid of.

    When I was in school phys ed was mandatory! I had no idea it stopped being mandatory. I absolutely hated phys ed as I’m not an athletically inclined person anyway, and resented being forced to participate in games I hated. But then, back then we were also outside a lot, running, biking, etc. and all without knee pads, helmets, elbow pads.

    I’m just glad my son is an adult now, or I’d be charged with child abuse for teaching him to be responsible and a thinker…..LOL

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