In a 4/13/2011 One News Now item headlined, “Chicago school usurps parental authority” Bill Bumpas wrote the following:
In an extreme example of the “nanny state” mentality, a public school in Chicago is forbidding students to bring lunches from home and is ordering them to only eat food from the school cafeteria.
The principal at Little Village Academy (K-8) on Chicago’s West Side told the Chicago Tribune that making students eat the cafeteria food, unless they have a medical excuse, is intended to protect them from their own unhealthful food choices. “Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at school,” said Elsa Carmona. “It’s about nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve [in the lunchroom]. It’s milk versus a Coke.”
While the administrator makes the nutrition argument, former public school teacher Dr. Karen Gushta — research coordinator at Coral Ridge Ministries and author of The War on Children: How Pop Culture and Public Schools Put Our Kids at Risk — tells OneNewsNow it usurps parental authority.
“It’s another effort to take away parental rights and the right of a parent to make decisions about what is in the best interest for the welfare of their own child, and place that right in the hand of an administrator or some government agent or whomever it may be,” she laments.
Gushta contends there is a growing effort by government officials to take away rights — all in the name of what is good for us. Parents especially, she says, need to connect the dots and be aware of what could come down the pike. “Today it’s food choices and maybe school choices,” she suggests. “Tomorrow it may be how you choose to discipline your child or where you want your child to attend worship.”
The Tribune article also points out that the federal government pays school districts for each free or reduced-price lunch served — meaning schools that ban homemade lunches also put more money in the pockets of district food providers.