Saturday, March 6, 2010

To eat or NOT to eat...

Laura Cancio of Hobe Sound, FL keeps her home extremely organized. She has her family's dinners planned out on a calendar for the rest of the month, and to teach her four kids responsibility, she has a posted morning routine for her school-aged boys to follow. One of the chores includes putting their lunches in their lunch boxes.
fay1.jpg School Lunch image by FSandersSVAportfolio
One day, upon returning from the bus stop, she noticed her fourth-grade son, forgot to assemble and bring his lunch. She said she wrote an e-mail to his teacher asking that he not be provided snacks or lunch because she felt this would teach him a lesson about responsibility. Plus, she said, he'd eaten a healthy breakfast and he would eat promptly when he returned from school at 2:30 p.m.
The staff at the elementary school appeared to have thought differently, because he was given a lunch. Laura said when her son returned home, he asked her if what she had done was "illegal" because someone at the school had told him it was against the law not to feed a child lunch.

0222101306.jpg oblivious teacher image by p-j_aimee
Cathleen Brennan of the Martin County School District issued this statement:

"Educational research clearly shows that students who are well nourished do better in school, both academically and behaviorally. As such, it is not the practice of the School District to withhold meals from students."
She retorted, "I don't expect them to agree with me, but I expect them to support my decision."

What do you think? I would have to side with the mom here. I would feel like My authority as a parent was undermined. The school system consistently expects parents to work with them and help "back THEM up". I don't think this was soooo unreasonable. I can understand if the request was for a week, or to reprimand the child in front of his peers, or something that would distract the child, and his/her classmates, but THIS? Just my 4cents...

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  1. I'm sure it is not only the school districts policy, but the states as well. It is not upon the school district to enforce a punishment from home. Yes, the school may ask for you to back them up, but that is because this is your child. The parents out of anyone should especially take a interest in their child's education.

    There are other ways of handling this. Maybe no desert, or snacks for a week. It is so important for children to have meals throughout the day. Especially in school when they should be focusing on their school work and not their growling stomach.

    I side with the school district.

    Great topic!!

  2. I think the mother's consequence was a perfectly good one, but you give up your parental rights when you send your kids to school. They are, for all intents and purposes, wards of the state for the hours they are in school and what you want or don't want as a parent doesn't matter. That's the choice you make when you ask the state to educate your children for you.

  3. As a teacher- I would have let him have a lunch as well. Having a student look at you and tell you that they are hungry is heartbreaking. I wouldn't withold food from my own children if they forgot to do the dishes, chores, or anything else. Most schools have an "alternative lunch" where the student gets a cheese sandwich and some milk if they don't have lunch money. That in itself is usually pretty devastating for a child. On the other hand- I try to always cooperate with parents who ask for reasonable consequences for their child- and particularly advocate making sure the student knows parents and teachers are on the same page- but the line is way too fine when it comes to witholding a basic necessity such as food...... Holly

  4. As a teacher, you'd have to make a judgment call. Is it abuse? Is the child getting food at home or is this school lunch the only thing he's going to eat today? And I can see how you wouldn't want to be in that position. One lunch, though, is not a necessity if the child appears otherwise well fed and clothed.


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