Kids need good nutrition. There is no doubt about that. Over worked parents, cheap processed food, an abundance of commercials directing children to eat chemical laden goodies, it all makes for an unhealthy population.
But can the crackdown on unhealthy food get too extreme? And is the supposed parental authority over the local school a thing of the past. You bet it is. That is hardly even up for debate anymore. Well, if parents have given up, maybe a ban on something as benign as birthday cakes will get them to rethinking their position. Probably not, but hey, there is always that last straw.
The Edmonds School District has voted to ban sweet treats for student birthdays.
The move is part of an 18-month wellness and nutrition study that started after a new federal wellness policy took effect requiring superintendents nationwide to monitor nutritional standards for students.
The district has gotten three written complaints so far.
Instead of a cupcake, students will now get a pencil or handmade card from classmates.
Two Edmonds schools decided to start this ban last year on their own.
Neighboring districts, including Seattle, don’t have a ban in place and are not planning to discuss it.
Here’s more from Seattle’s Fox affiliate:
Inspired by a federal wellness policy, the district says decreasing kids’ sugar intake is a healthy step.
“In a week, say you have three kids who have birthdays — you do see a change of behavior in the classroom,” Edmonds School District spokeswoman DJ Jakala said.
The district says it is about celebrating the kids, not the sweets.
With no more cupcakes, schools can choose to hand out gifts such as pencils, origami or even more recess time.
“Instead of spending the time eating the cupcake, let the kids go out to the field for 10 to 15 minutes,” Jakala said.
The ban is something they have mulled over for nearly two years. The district says several schools have already tested it out, with few complaints from parents.
“Because there are so many birthdays throughout the year and they are getting treats throughout the year, I am fine with it. I don’t think it’s a big deal,” parent Lea Agol said.
“That’s fine, that is fine. They can bring something else,” parent Chino Shaver said.
“If the child chooses, the class will sing to them. Like I said, there are instances of personalized cards and they can be first in line,” Jakala said.
But some parents say the district should just loosen up and not ruin a tradition.
“It’s not necessarily the district’s job to control that, to take away from everybody, it’s overreaching,” parent Marcus Shelton said.
The district says the ban is just one small component of a big effort to promote more exercise and wellness.
Although birthday sweets are off the table, kids will get to enjoy treats in their classrooms at cultural and other classroom celebrations three times every school year, the district said.
Okay, so its not that devastating. Kids still get treats. But an outright ban is ridiculous. Perhaps if the schools spent less time indoctrinating kids and more time on the basics, there would be plenty of school day left for physical activities and then those cupcakes wouldn’t make for a federal case.