Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pick Your Battles

Our country seems to be blessed with many well-intentioned citizens whose zeal outruns their judgment. You may even now be reading examples of this in your newspaper, or hearing about them on your newscasts.

A case in point is the elementary school principal in Chicago who has ruled that the students must take the school lunch. They may not bring their lunch from home in a brown paper bag or in a Justin Bieber lunchbox. Rationale: a frontal attack in the "War on Obesity."

Is there an obesity problem in our society? No doubt. Is the principal responsible for the welfare of her charges? Of course. (To the extent that in loco parentis standards apply.) Has she pulled the lanyard on a charge that is more likely to blow up her cannon than it is to impact the target? Obviously.

Years ago, many, many years ago, there was a student in our elementary school who brought her own silverware with which to eat the school lunch. A teacher (remember zeal outrunning judgment?) chose to make an issue of it, though obtuse as I am, I couldn't see the issue. The girl, of course, enlisted her parents in this tug-of-war.

The father explained to me that the tableware provided by the school tended to react in an unpleasant manner to the girl's dental work, hence his darling carried her own sterling. Now we were not all born with a silver spoon in our mouths, but the fact that this gentleman had another daughter a year younger than the girl in question who did not carry table service to school lent credibility to his claim, and I said it was not a problem. In essence, I apologized for another's handling of what should have been a non-issue. Principals get to do that.

Well. I say. People!

Pick your battles!

When I used the term "Justin Bieber lunchbox" I did not know it actually existed; but as a long-time observer of the societal condition, I was not surprised when I Googled that phrase to find that it does exist. You can find it that way, too, should you want to send your kid to school with one. (Provided of course your kid doesn't attend that school in Chicago.)


Lin said...

My kids would starve if they were forced to eat the school lunch--ICK!! Most of that food gets thrown away each day anyway--I can't believe they would force everyone to buy it. Well, maybe THAT is the issue--the money earned from that new rule. Hmmmmmm.....

vanilla said...

Lin, I don't know the school in question, but you may well have put your finger on the real issue. It a large percentage of the kids are on federally subsidized lunch program, clearly there would be a desire to collect as large a subsidy check as possible?

Vee said...

If the lunch ruling is not a money issue, it is probably a control freak thing. My bet would be the latter.

I wholeheartedly agree with the silverware ruling. Why in the name of common sense would a teacher take on such an issue? Control freak!!

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

This is just nuts. The food police have really arrived. Hubby told me about this just a few minutes before I read it here. The food they serve in schools has been proven over and over to be one step better than garbage. Have you seen Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution?

vanilla said...

Vee, "common sense" is the issue, isn't it? Seems to be all too uncommon these days.

Shark, I have not seen "food revolution" but I have read about it.

Ilene said...

I just watched Food Revolution last night. LA school food is neither appetizing or healthy. Everything is packaged and served on a disposable cardboard dishes to wash or cooks to be paid, and there are no fresh fruits and vegetables. I am sure Chicago will do no better. It all comes down to the mighty dollar. If I thought Chicago, or LA, were serving healthy home cooked meals, I might be able to swallow this. But you can bet they will buy as cheaply as possible and have a good profit margin. And the little munchkins will throw it away, or eat it out of desperation!

vanilla said...

Ilene, I find prepackaged prepared food to be unappetizing, either at school or at home. But then, I was raised on Mama's cooking; and I have been blessed with spouse who knows how to cook!