Give the bureaucracy an inch, and they’ll take over your lunchbox.
That’s the case in one Chicago-area school where school officials have banned lunches from home. Unless they have a medical excuse, school children must eat the food served in the cafeteria.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the policy has been in place for six years. And for some reason, parents aren’t revolting.
The school principal told the newspaper that the policy’s intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.
“Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” she told the paper.
Maybe for some children, but as a mass policy, we must vehemently oppose. Parents should have the final say about what a student puts in his mouth – not an overreaching bureaucrat that thinks she knows best.
There are few things more personal in this world than what we put in our bodies, and we have trouble stomaching the audacity of any public official proclaiming to tell large groups of people how they should feed themselves.
Parents should have say in what their children eat, and if they’re wise, they should seek the counsel of the family physician. To the school’s credit, students who bring in medical notes are exempt from the cafeteria policy.
School principals should rank very low in the dietary expertise department, especially since science doesn’t always agree on what’s best nutritionally.
Although scientists agree that eating vegetables is better than eating candy, there’s still plenty of debate about what’s healthy and what isn’t. One body of research suggests that eating a low-fat, low-calorie diet is the way to perfect health; another body of research suggests that fat is fine and carbohydrates are the devil; still another body of research suggests that extremely low caloric intake – near starvation levels – prolongs human life.
Fads (and bad public policy) often start in large cities before moving to the suburbs and beyond.
The Chicago-school’s food dictatorship is one idea that we hope is caged in the Windy City. It’s a fundamental infringement on parental responsibility, J. Justin Wilson, a senior researcher at the Washington-based Center for Consumer Freedom, told the Chicago Tribune.
We agree.
Here on the great plains, we still believe that parents should have the ultimate say in the lives of their children.