Teacher suspended for chicken-nugget lunch

A pre-k teacher has been suspended for giving a girl a school lunch in addition to her brown-bag lunch sent from home, reports the Carolina Journal. Apparently, a scapegoat was needed for the infamous chicken-nugget incident. The assistant superintendent’s letter to parents said the teacher violated district policy, though it didn’t state which policy or why the teacher had to be removed from the classroom.

A consultant for the state health department told West Hoke Elementary to supplement homemade lunches if they didn’t include milk, two servings of fruit or vegetables, a serving of grain or bread, and a serving of meat or meat alternative.

A teacher offered a 4-year-old girl a cafeteria tray with chicken nuggets, a sweet potato, bread, and milk to replace the turkey and cheese sandwich, potato chips, banana, and apple juice her mother had packed for her.

Thinking her homemade lunch was unhealthy, the girl didn’t eat it. But she didn’t care for the school lunch, so she ate only the chicken nuggets. Her mother thinks blaming the teacher is ridiculous.

“We are concerned for Ms. Maynor [the teacher] and want her back in the classroom, as she was only following guidelines,” the mother wrote in an email to her state representative, Republican G.L. Pridgen of Robeson County. “It’s the government that needs to be reprimanded and changed.”

State health officials say the girl’s homemade lunch was just fine: Cheese can substitute for milk, it’s fruit or vegetable and there are no demerits for the potato chips. In fact, the carb-heavy school lunch doesn’t sound all that healthy, even if there was enough sweet potato to count as two servings of veg. And what about lactose-intolerant kids?

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Comments

  1. Obi-Wandreas says:

    The very idea of any government-related official looking into your kid’s lunch should be enough to drive any free-born citizen into full blown revolt.

  2. tim-10-ber says:

    While this never should have been done, the administrators need to be held accountable not a teacher who just follows orders. So frustrating when government employees refuse to apply logical/common sense solutions to non-issues. Dang…

  3. While I question the entire notion of examining kids’ home-packed lunches, the National School Lunch Program does NOT allow cheese to substitute for milk. The requirement specifically stipulates fluid milk.

    NSLP requirements are heavily geared toward supporting big agriculture, and it’s dairy-industry lobbying that has led to the hard-and-fast milk requirement. So free-market, private-sector champions should be applauding and taking pride of ownership in these regulations.

    These requirements also don’t take into account kids who are lactose-intolerant.

  4. Wow, who would have thought that things start to go wrong once the government gets overly involved and once regulations start stacking up…..

    • Well, I would say that if the government’s priority were the best interests of the children and not of big agriculture, things might still be a lot more sensible.

      • Set up a regulatory apparatus and those with the biggest incentives to turn it to their own ends will. Laws have unintended consequences.

  5. NSLP requirements are heavily geared toward supporting big agriculture, and it’s dairy-industry lobbying that has led to the hard-and-fast milk requirement. So free-market, private-sector champions should be applauding and taking pride of ownership in these regulations.

    Actually, as a free-market, private-sector champion, I deplore the use of government regulation to provide a subsidy to a particular industry. Regulatory capture is the game of crony capitalism, not free markets.

  6. And the country wonders why no one wants to become a K-12 teacher in the U.S. these days… When you can be made an obvious scapegoat, and everyone knows, but it doesn’t save your job anyway, why put yourself through something like that? (And this is just one example of millions like it around the country!)

  7. Roger Sweeny says:

    <i….no one wants to become a K-12 teacher in the U.S. these days…

    Huh? More than 100,000 people graduate from college each year with a degree in education. More than 170,000 spend the extra money and the extra year to get a Masters from an ed school. If no one wants to be a teacher, that’s an awful strange way to show it.

    http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=37