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?

State snatches home-made lunch, subs ‘nuggets’

A four-year-old’s home-packed lunch — turkey-and-cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips and apple juice — was rejected by a state lunchbox inspector at a North Carolina elementary school, reports the Carolina Journal. Instead the preschooler ate three chicken nuggets from the school lunch – and nothing else. Mom was charged $1.25.

“What got me so mad is, number one, don’t tell my kid I’m not packing her lunch box properly,” the girl’s mother told CJ. “I pack her lunchbox according to what she eats. It always consists of a fruit. It never consists of a vegetable. She eats vegetables at home because I have to watch her because she doesn’t really care for vegetables.”

The state requires all lunches served in pre-K programs — including in-home day-care centers — to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, which call for one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables.

As it turns out, the lunch did meet USDA guidelines. “With a turkey sandwich, that covers your protein, your grain, and if it had cheese on it, that’s the dairy,” said Jani Kozlowski, the fiscal and statutory policy manager for the division (of child development). The lunch has to include a fruit or vegetable, but not both, she said. Potato chips don’t de-nutritionize an otherwise health lunch.

So North Carolina hires lunchbox inspectors — at what salary I wonder? — to snatch turkey sandwiches from little girls. (OK, they didn’t take her home-packed lunch away, but she didn’t eat it because she’d been told  it was “not healthy,” according to her mother.)

The school principal says parents aren’t charged for the school lunch. The pre-K program is funded by the state for children from low-income families or those with special needs.

It’s a “non-troversy,” argues The League of Ordinary Gentlemen. The inspector was investigating the school’s compliance with the subsidized lunch program, which requires providing additional food to kids who don’t bring a healthy lunch.

A second mother has complained, saying her daughter was told not to eat her home-packed lunch (salami and cheese on a wheat bun and apple juice).  Instead, she ate chicken nuggets, sweet potato and milk. A letter sent to parents warns they may be charged if they miss a food group and their child receives supplemental food.

 

Nanny says no: Hot for teacher

Reason‘s “Nanny of the Month” law would make student-teacher sex a felony, even if the student is 18 or older. Adult ed teachers and school volunteers are included in the proposed Michigan law.

The international ‘nanny of the month’

Reason’s first global Nanny of the Month award goes to the European Union, which beat out the Danes, who are taxing foods high in saturated fat, and the Aussies in the Northern Territory, who have banned alcohol sales to problem drinkers.

. . . top dishonors go to the European Union’s control freaks who have cracked down on free-range kids, slapping regulations on everything from baby rattlers (which have brand-new noise restrictions) to blowing up balloons (not to be done by tots under age eight!).

F as in fat

One third of U.S. children are overweight or obese, according to a new report titled F as in Fat 2011.  The childhood pudge percentage has nearly tripled in the past 10 years.

Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia had childhood obesity rates above 20 percent; Illinois was the only non-Southern state above 20 percent (along with the District of Columbia). In 2003, when the last NSCH was conducted, only D.C., Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia were above 20 percent.

Nationwide, the report found that less than one-third of all children ages 6-17 engaged in at least 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity on a day-to-day basis.

Very obese children should be placed with foster families till they slim down, argue Harvard researchers in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 

Bad idea, responds bioethicist Art Caplan. After all, 12 percent of U.S. kids are extremely obese.

Ludicrous,” responds Megan McArdle in The Atlantic.

. . . the foster system is already overstretched without adding obesity to catalogue of child abuse and neglect.  It’s also kind of creepy–the sort of thing that gives paternalism a very, very bad name.

Racist, adds Instapundit. African-American children are more likely to be obese.

Adults are getting fatter too.

And it’s not just Americans. As part of a British campaign against obesity, new health guidlines call for children under the age of five — including infants – to exercise daily for at least three hours.

Racially diverse dolls in day care

Colorado day-care providers would be required to provide dolls representing at least three races, under a proposal being considered by the Department of Human Services.

In other rule changes: Children over age two must not be served whole milk without a note from a doctor, kids over age one can’t drink more than six ounces of juice per day, TV and computer time will be capped at twenty minutes daily, and staffers must wear clothing that covers the lap and shoulders. (What’s so bad about bare shoulders? Search me.)

That’s why they call it the nanny state.

I’m not sure children that young are conscious of race unless adults work hard to make them think it’s important. We’re visiting the grandkids today in Maryland.  Julia, who’s two, is very fond of Elmo on Sesame Street. He’s red.  Grover is blue. Are they different races? Who cares?

San Francisco may order ‘sad meals’

San Francisco may ban “happy meals” that come with a toy, unless the meal includes a serving of fruit and vegetables or meets the city’s nutritional requirements, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

San Francisco’s “sad meals” should include “creepy, insulting and/or humiliating promotional toys with any meal that fails to meet the city’s exacting nutritional guidelines,” writes Zombie on Pajamas Media.

* Circular metallic stickers featuring a frowny-face and the words “I’m a fatso!” or “Lard-butt.” Parents will be required to affix the stickers to their children’s foreheads during meals eaten in public.

* Wind-up toys which speak any of ten different phrases, including “You’re morbidly obese!”, “Sure, keep stuffing your fat little face,” and “You make me sick, you disgusting pig!” Children can choose either the Sinister Clown, Nagging Granny, or Scary Bully designs.

* Miniature flipbooks featuring full-color photos of actual surgical procedures taken during heart bypass operations and liposuction sessions.

* A new line of collectible figurines called Chubbies, with names such as Friendless Fritz, Diabetic Debbie, and Acne Ashly.

Very few children eat most of their meals at fast-food restaurants. Obesity begins at home. Parents have to stop buying junk food — often for themselves — and start pushing fruit and veg.

'Sexters' threatened with suspension

New York City’s public school students caught “sexting” — sending explicit messages or photos — will face a 90-day suspension — even if they’re sexting at home on their own time.

Under proposed new rules, students also could be suspended for “cyber-bullying” a classmate.

Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union said public schools should not regulate activities outside schools. Unless sexting is narrowly defined, she said, students could be punished for harmless love notes.

Most sexting starts as a consensual act: A girl sends a sexy message to her boyfriend. If he sends it on to a few friends, it can get nasty. But I can’t see that adolescent foolishness is the school’s business.

Cyber-bullying is a tougher call because the victim may be afraid to come to school.

Beware of nattering nanny-staters, says Hot Air.

The Ministry of Silly Bans

PJ Media’s S.T. Karnick hits a silly ban on Silly Bandz, cheap rubber wristbands that are a fad for kids and a bane for adults. Karnick writes:

This is conclusive proof, if any were yet needed, that the people who run America’s schools hate kids and are utterly power-mad.

According to Time, schools in New York, Texas, Florida and Massachusetts have declared the Bandz are contraband.

Students fiddle with them during class and arrange swaps — trading, say, a bracelet with a mermaid for one with a dragon — when they should be concentrating on schoolwork, teachers say. Sometimes a trade goes bad — kids get buyer’s remorse too — and hard feelings, maybe even scuffles, ensue.

Without Silly Bandz, none of these things would happen, of course.

If Silly Bandz are very tight, they might block blood flow, a doctor warns. Karnick is not impressed.

Any child whose parents are so oblivious as to fail to notice that their children’s hands are in danger of falling off has much bigger problems than an excessive fondness for Silly Bandz.

. . . The movement to ban the latest thing children have found to enjoy is a blatantly idiotic manifestation of the constant impulse of our federal, state, and local governments to suppress every attempt by the nation’s children to enjoy themselves in a natural, unforced way without adults turning it into some vile, arid, obvious learning experience.

I’m still bitter about Ravinia Elementary School’s ban on cinnamon toothpicks circa 1960. That was supposed to be for our safety too. We might poke ourselves or get a splinter or . . . Stupid grown-ups.

Update: Teachers report on the spread of the Silly Bandz craze in North Carolina and New York City.

England bans babysitting by friends

You thought No joy in Middleville was crazy:  A Michigan woman was told not to watch neighbors’ kids waiting for the bus without a license. Nobody can match the English for meddling bureaucrats:   Two job-sharing policewomen have been threatened with prosecution as illegal childminders because they trade babysitting for their two-year-old daughters, who are best friends.

But the mothers, both 32, have now been told by Ofsted that surveillance teams will spy on their homes to make sure they are not continuing to care for each other’s daughter.

For the past two-and-a-half years, one looked after both of the girls while the other worked a ten-hour shift. Both worked two days a week.

A neighbor’s complaint triggered the inspection.

The nanny state exempts only family members from the ban on babysitting for more than two hours a day. Both mothers have placed their daughters in child-care centers.  One mother, separated from her husband, has applied for government benefits to pay the cost.