What could be so heinous a scenario that a 7th grader would rise up like a revolutionary in his school cafeteria? How bad can it be, that young Fernando Dominguez would stand and shout who thinks the lunch is not good enough? We should bring our own lunch! It may sound made up, but this happened at Little Village Academy in Chicago. The Chicago public school system, which serves nearly 300,000 lunches per day recently made it mandatory that unless a student has an existing medical excuse or an allergy, they are no longer allowed to bring their own packed lunches from home. The school district pats itself on the shoulder, claiming victory in childrens nutrition. Meanwhile, parents across the country are outraged.
Its a simple case of a good idea suffering from terrible execution. While the premise of discouraging school children from packing sugary sodas and overly salty or sweet snacks is a great one, not all parents are such bad decision makers when it comes to their kids diets. Even though great strides have been taken over the years to increase the nutritional value of meals provided by schools such as increasing foods with higher fiber and whole grains as well as adding more dark green vegetables, dont think there arent plenty of days that have plates full of preservatives and fats. How else do you get such specific nicknames as school pizza that people remember years later. This mandate reaches far beyond nutrition though, and into student and parental rights.
While the intention of this rule is a step in the right direction, the way in which it has been put into action is questionable at best. A great number of students have angrily stated that they would rather bring their own lunches from home, and in many cases students have opted to skip lunch altogether. Which is better for these childrens health: bringing their own lunch, or not eating at all? The one size fits all mentality that is pushed upon the public by government organizations once again falls short of its intended goal. A military organization called Mission: Readiness actually went as far as to call school lunches a threat to national security because the unhealthy foods contribute to higher percentages of children that will grow up and be too fat to fight for their country.
Freedom of choice is being revoked in nearly every facet of our lives as Americans. A senate bill in North Carolina recently almost made holistic health practitioners and homeopaths felons by changing the definition of practicing medicine without a license. However, that bill was reworded and the crisis was averted. The same cant always be said though, as wording that was hidden in the infamous US senate bill 510 has led to new regulations by the FDA that promise anything but health and food freedom.