Chicago School Bans Bag Lunches Because Students, Parents Can’t Make Healthy Food Choices
Big government protecting us from ourselves again.
(Chicago Tribune) – Fernando Dominguez cut the figure of a young revolutionary leader during a recent lunch period at his elementary school.
“Who thinks the lunch is not good enough?” the seventh-grader shouted to his lunch mates in Spanish and English.
Dozens of hands flew in the air and fellow students shouted along: “We should bring our own lunch! We should bring our own lunch! We should bring our own lunch!”
Fernando waved his hand over the crowd and asked a visiting reporter: “Do you see the situation?”
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.
So what is driving this limitation in school lunch choice? School administrators are saying that parents and students aren’t making healthy enough choices for bagged lunches, so students must be forced to eat what the school is serving:
Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.
“Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” Carmona said. “It’s about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It’s milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception.”
Carmona said she created the policy six years ago after watching students bring “bottles of soda and flaming hot chips” on field trips for their lunch. Although she would not name any other schools that employ such practices, she said it was fairly common.
A Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman said she could not say how many schools prohibit packed lunches and that decision is left to the judgment of the principals.
“While there is no formal policy, principals use common sense judgment based on their individual school environments,” Monique Bond wrote in an email. “In this case, this principal is encouraging the healthier choices and attempting to make an impact that extends beyond the classroom.”
Of course, as usual, there’s also an ulterior motive. The more students who eat school lunch, the more money the school gets from the federal government:
Any school that bans homemade lunches also puts more money in the pockets of the district’s food provider, Chartwells-Thompson. The federal government pays the district for each free or reduced-price lunch taken, and the caterer receives a set fee from the district per lunch.
Meanwhile, our federal government is bankrupt.
Anyway, those of us who argue that there is a steady push toward the government regulating every single aspect of our lives are often accused of being paranoid and on the fringes of American politics. And yet, time and again, we’re faced with government policies that seek to regulate every single aspect of our lives.
From what light bulbs we use to what cars to drive to what our children can and cannot eat. And always, the argument is that because we don’t always make the right decisions our ability to make decisions at all should be curbed.
And here you thought it was a free country.Tags: big government, chicago, nanny statism