|Government-Sponsored Food Fights Are Liberalism’s Version of School Reform|
By Ashton Ellis
Wednesday, December 22 2010
Never let it be said that liberals refuse to reform the public school system. Or even, for that matter, that they oppose school choice. While conservatives often push for changes that affect the classroom, liberals are setting their sights on a different battleground: the cafeteria.
In what could be spun as alternative definitions for the terms “school choice” and “abstinence education,” the left is waging a nationwide war on fatty foods. By prohibiting sodas and sweets – and in one case, second helpings – public school districts across the country are succumbing to the demands of Nanny-state regulators. As usual, the goal is more control for the state and less options for those it supposedly serves.
Earlier this year, the Flagstaff, Arizona school district started measuring elementary students during gym class using the body mass index (BMI) scale. Those who scored too big were sent home with a note to their parents stating the risks of being overweight. Among them are the possibility of impending obesity, diabetes and perhaps an early death. In effect, the school’s policy is, “pinch an inch, then get snitched.” And all in front of an entire gym class filled with adolescents. Liberals: making bullies’ jobs easier with every intervention.
Another inanity worth mentioning is San Francisco’s ban on toys in Happy Meals. The ordinance was so off-target the city’s mayor, Gavin Newsom, was against it. Not to be outdone, New York City’s Health Commission compared soda drinks to liquid fat. Is applying the term “food terrorism” to the fast-food industry far behind?
More recently, the St. Paul, Minnesota school district decided to prohibit all sweets from campus. Like their counterparts in Flagstaff, the St. Paul administrators say they’re concerned with the spike in overweight kids. Though the majority of hefty students come from poor and minority families, the school doesn’t have much success changing the eating habits of parents. So instead, they’ll deprive the children.
Speaking to a reporter for the local Star Tribune, 10-year-old Misky Salad summarized the consensus of her peers: “All my friends say, ‘This really sucks.’” The “this” Misky referred to was not only the ban on candy, but also on second helpings. The precocious youth then incorporated an argument the liberal establishment no doubt wants to avoid, saying, “A lot of us feel it should be up to us to determine what we should do with our bodies.”
I wonder which leftist indoctrination class gave Misky that idea. Could it be that a fifth grader taught to believe that her unquestioned discretion extends to any type of behavior she or her sex-ed curriculum can conceive – but not to the kind of food she can eat – senses a disconnect? After all, what good is freedom of choice if it only lets a person treat herself like candy, but not to it?
Misky’s confusion throws some light on the deplorable state of public education. Straitjacketed by political correctness, schools are tempted to turn a blind eye toward real problems in favor of solving cosmetic ones. Certainly, the dramatic rise in the occurrence of childhood diabetes is cause for alarm, but so too is the anything-goes-mentality espoused by students like Misky. What’s lacking in both cases is the failure to form a child’s conscience to avoid evil and seek the good.
But that doesn’t fit into the liberal worldview. Far better to have students legally required to attend a school where their clothing, diet and curriculum are pre-selected. For liberals, reforming education means creating an environment of uniform diversity. Everyone is free to choose – so long as it’s the same choice the school already made.
Related Articles :