Crossing the boundaries of good taste at school

Finally other people are rallying round the flag called parenting – not in book form, not who can do it ‘better’ or with greater results, but who can do it since it is the right thing to do and schools/teachers JUST CAN NOT DO EVERYTHING for everyone.  The school lunch program as we know it IS CHANGING in America and parents, get this, you are going to need to do your share as the schools start doing more of  their share.

Imagine anyone asking parents to take responsibility? Who knew??  Who thought it would be appropriate to have high expectations of parents?  I was beginning to think abdication was the rule and law of parenting since even Michelle Rhee fears to tread on this group of people except to ask them if they would like to crucify more teachers.

Nutrition is such a key part of a child’s education, people were talking about requesting and allowing children to have more time to eat fresh food as it takes longer.  Finally some one is taking the ball and running down field towards the goal line – children can not learn without proper nutrition and not just at school lunch.  Healthcare will soon be ‘for all’ not the few with coins in their pockets jingling about. School food programs are drastically changing (Thank You Michelle Obama and all the many who have persevered !) due to the concerted efforts of many who have said ‘enough’, we can and need to do better.

We have not crossed the junction yet of actually asking parents to ‘think’ how they will pay to feed their children before getting pregnant, but that discussion will come at some point as the excuse train left the station.

Based on what was discussed this morning with Michael Krasney, school cafeterias can no longer be the bastions of and arbiters in bad taste nor can they waste precious food budgets on crap.  While one great meal a day is better than none, it is imperative that parents start doing what they can to level the playing field nutritionally. An example is Oakland USD in CA now has farmers markets after school in some of the ‘food deserts’ in the area. There are programs where students grow their produce and this is part of the science curriculum, never mind a great opportunity to be outside and enjoy the CA sun.

Parents have the resources and the ability to use the resources (if your kid has time to watch TV or play on the computer, they can sure as hell cook) if they choose.  Having volunteered at the Alameda Food Bank in Alameda County, there is not a ton of good food, but there is some and it is better than what 98% of the world lives on.  There are church and other organizations with food pantries, there are places to access fresh instead of paying extra for processed and frozen/packaged. If you collect WIC and/ or SNAP, you get to choose how you use those resources.  Students learn best when not on sugar rushes and stomachs are filled with useable calories.

In the most impoverished nations of the world we give U.N. food drops. Here, we can grow so much we throw some away if even after exports and U.N. food drops there is extra.  We have to do better with our resources and the people most able to be in this fight are parents.

Occasionally I see billboards around town in various languages with the message, “My kitchen/house, my food choices” and it actually gives a view of what it looks like to stand up proud and tall as the adult in the relationship of the family and make different/better choices. YOU – the parent…….it is about you and how you set the example.

Teachers, we just have to deal with whatever is sent our way.  Send us students which are fed and rested and we can do just about anything.




Ms. Rhee?  Ms. Rhee – are you there??  I can’t hear you – is the line broken??