There was a time when the school bully would liberate you from your lunch money; on the bus, the schoolyard or even in the cafeteria line.  Being a daily-brown bagger for most of my elementary school career I soon learned that it wasn’t about the money.  Heck, they’d knock your precious bag of goodies from your hand just to vigorously stomp it into the ground with that maniacal grin so common to those with problems of an under supported ego.  Ever wonder where these bullies went when they grew up?  Check your local school system for positions of authority.  The only difference between them now and their former pitiful selves is that now they can codify their aggression and need for control.  But they’re still punishing other kids.

School lunch was a blast when I was young.  My mother was one heck of a baker; She used to send us to school with these huge, fresh, home made brownies in our lunch bags at least twice a week.  Trust me, you learn barter very quickly when you’re 10.  I used to trade half of one for a bag of chips and a Twinkie, or maybe a candy bar and an apple.  Or even the occasional yo-yo.  No worries, I knew there were always more brownies when I got off the bus at home. Trading someone your baloney for a PBJ.  Someone always had something you wanted or something they didn’t.  Wanna celebrate true diversity?  It’s in the contents of those crinkled brown bags, Matchbox, GI Joe or Barbie lunch boxes.

contraband...

The Little Village Academy’s “No Home Lunch” policy just defies belief.  I had to read the article twice before I realized it wasn’t a story on The Onion.

How does something like this happen? Pretty easy actually.  Parent Miguel Medina states “..when they bring the food from home, there is no control over the food.”  That’s the parenting style that gets you a principal who can declare that their school cafeteria serves “excellent quality food.” “Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” claims principal Carmona.

Um, okay.  I noticed the article tells of kids choosing not to eat because the food is unappetizing, many throwing their dishes away.  It brings back memories of hot lunches of wilted vegetables, fresh from the 10 gallon tin, could have been spinach, could have been dandelion, could have been the discharge from the grounds-keepers mower that very morning.  Mystery veggies puddled next to processed “meat patties with gravy.”  Principal Carmona is making a statement about the parents of her students.  But our buddy Miguel isn’t intelligent enough to catch on.  Let me give you a clue here idiot.  Your parenting skills stink and Elsa Carmona is taking advantage of that fact to usurp the rights of other parents in the district while she takes federal money for every lunch she can sell.  And of course, the caterer (not the hair-netted, cranky lunch-lady of yore) gets their cut at those federal dollars too.  Hey we all win!

Yup, i'll bet they're just lining up for seconds...

I’ve been reading around the blogs to gauge the reaction and most of it resembles my own curiosity and some anger at the nanny state.  However, I’m far more disgusted with those who just let this happen.  Parents like Miguel who cannot or will not parent, combined with those who are too lazy or too intimidated to do anything about the blatant abuse of power are the reason why people like Ms. Carmona can get away with this.  Does this sound silly, “blatant abuse of power?”  Over something as silly as lunch?  Not to me.  Not if it involves someone from the state telling you that they will feed your children and you have no right or power to say otherwise.

Just whom the hell does this woman work for?  Did it need to be approved by anyone other than the principal?  Were there any protests when this was originally presented? I can’t say, although I scoured the net for old articles about this being put in place and could find nothing.  Disturbing.  Somebody please tell me that someone said something.  Tell me that some parent somewhere stood up and said, bullshit, you’re not telling me what to feed my kids.  Period.

Maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree.  Maybe we have a group of parents here that want to be told how to raise their kids.  Maybe they, like ol’ Miguel, need the guidance of Ms. Carmona or they might slip and allow their kids to have chocolate milk too.

I’m waiting to see how this all plays out.  At the very least, parents should be all over this principal and end this as soon as possible.  The other extreme?  Someone should be peeking into the relationship she has with the caterer and the fact that the more free or reduced lunches the school provides, the more money they receive from the federal government.

Let the kids be kids for crying out loud.  Stop the bullying, starting at the top.

Advertisements