A running rant about bad television, crappy products, horrible service, mindless politics, corporate and government ineptitude, moronic media, marketing overload, public idiocy, stupid entertainment, etc. Here's what's annoying me today:

9.07.2006

Public School Silliness Part 1



My kid started kindergarten this week, and so begins my education into ridiculous government regulations. Actually it started somewhat in preschool with my introduction to the concept of peanut-free schools.

Well my son's new elementary school isn't peanut-free, only peanut sensitive. But it is newly homemade bakes goods free, No more bake sales. We got the official regulation today. No goods baked at home will be allowed for any school events. All foods must be prepackaged or cooked in a "licensed kitchen," meaning a restaurant, grocery store, or bakery. So it''s OK to go to the bakery at Stop and Shop, or presumably even Dunkin Donuts, and buy cookies and bring them in. But you are not allowed to bake your own brownies for the school bake sale. What would Betty Crocker say?

Now I first assumed that this ridiculousness was a product of the Massachusetts Democratic Legislature (remember Fluff madness?). But no, it's a new Federal Regulation signed by George W called the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act.

I'll bet if you follow that legislation back, that somewhere there is a trail of large donations to Senators from the Bakers' Union or whatever lobbying group represents bakery owners. Just gotta cut off that competition from Aunt Betty making her own brownies for the school bake sale. It's threatening bakery owners everywhere.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Sick of Extremes said...

You're a creative guy. Why don't you create your own labels, say "Johnieboy's Big Bad Brownies" and shrinkwrap the little things and send them to school?! Beat them at their own fucking game!

10:20 PM

 
Blogger Trustee of Truth said...

Remember the carrot cake we made for Artie in BR-6? That's why you can't bake brownies for kids; they’re just too damn young for that kind of a psychedelic experience.

2:48 PM

 
Anonymous Mrs. Fun said...

doesn't this suck. it started here a few years ago. just stupid! I love to bake but can't now.stupid.

10:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are ignorant. The thing you dont realize is that you cant bring in your own baked goods because there is no way to make sure they arent contaminated with an allergen like peanut. Licensed kitchens by law are REQUIRED to make sure that certain health regulations regarding allergies are followed. And its not threatning baking owners, you so ignorant. Is it confusing to you taht someones life is on the line when it coems to food. Eat your silly brownies at you house, on vaction, on the weekends, during summer, on holidays, not at a school when someone could die. Grow up. And also, for your information, if the reason that you cant have baked is because it is a peanut sensitive school, some one couldnt go to dunkin donuts, or stop and shop. Reason being they are both clearly marked as having nut traces, dunkin donuts even has a little sign stating that. adn products from most bakeries right at the bottom will say allergen information: may contain traces of nuts. you really need to get a clue. would you really want a person, like a little child to die becuase you were ignorant and un caring. I'm just a kid and i feel as though i have more sense than you. Maybe that is because my little brother can die and i have to see my parents deal with ignorant unkind people like you all the time. and thats sad. you have to learn to look at things from other prespectives and not just from you own little veiw of what benifits you. i hope one day you can understand, its horrific for someone to have to deal with a life threatning allergy, especially a child, and that people like you just make their life hard and their well being less assured.

6:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or, this one person with an allergy can bring their own food and avoid the f-ing bakesale. Why punish 200 other kids just because little timmy can't say no to a brownie

6:49 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

umm u obviously dont understand the severity of some allergies... its people like you that put others lives in danger...peanut protien is oil based which means it travels through the air more rapidly adn its harder to clean from surfaces. if you have 200 other kids with peanut traces on their hands going around school than the child with a peanut allergy who is tactially allergic has a huge chance of goining into anaphylaxis from this... and ur little timmy can say no to a brownie.. most kids with allergies kno exactly what they have to avoid.. but they cant do that on their own.. and that is repulsive for u to think that a baked good is more important than someones life.

4:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just reading your post(s) on public schools, peanut-free stuff et al and felt compelled to add to the rant.

This year our own public school went peanut/peanut-oil/traces of peanut/traces of nut/processed in a facility containing nuts/processed in a facility that may have processed nut - free. The idea being that the student(s) that are allergic could die if one of the other students ate a granola bar and the breathed on the monkeybars within however long a time period before the allergic child grazed the same monkey bar. As much as I ranted (and I mean RANTED) in the privacy of my own home and to whichever non-judgemental remaining friends would listen, I DO understand why. I do wonder however what's going to happen when my neighbours kid who goes into anaphylactic (sp?) shock from citrus products registers in that same school next year (actually ANY school here because they have ALL adopted that policy).

We have carefully combed all snack products before purchase. My 5year old is stuck with apples and bananas 3 snacks a day 5 days a week because of her fussiness (maybe she'll be cured!) and I got a nasty-gram from the school telling me to send "more variety". So I created my own snack mix based on products very carefully scrutinized for all the nut-stuff. I then got a nasty-gram saying the stuff had to be in original packaging so THEY could identify it. I don't think I'm going to send the whole box of cheerios + box of organic pretzels + box of nut-free ritz so they can verify (by the way, did you know lots of cereals also contain traces of nuts, especially the REALLY HEALTHY ones?).

As much as I understand the bigger picture here, I am starting to wonder if "I" am going to have to homeschool so that MY kid can eat during the day.

My husband suggested I put one of those packing address labels on my daughter when she goes to school saying "Caution: this child manufactured in a home that eats peanut butter on toast for breakfast". I suggested an abbreviated version "Caution: this child manufactured in a home that may contain nuts!" .

I'm not thinking the school will appreciate either one. But "I" sure will!

5:13 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no you really dont understand. i wrote the comment right before yours, and yes, you do understand the concept of allergies. Im not saying you dont, but you dont seem to understand that their is a living breathing human behind that allergy, a person with a face adn a name, a personality and family. i mean i think i understand all of this better because im a kid and i have a little brother with a horrible peanut allergy. my friends are always so good about the who nut thing because we are kids, adn for some reason, kids are more understanding of change and differences. Maybe its because i see my mom come home crying from PTA meetign and schoolboard meetings because people make comments like yours. Those comments are so incredibly degrading and apathetic... and just plain wrong. to make a funny cute joke about how your child is from a home that contains nuts, is just so sad to see. Its so close minded, and shallow, that some little child dying is basically a joke to you. and i really do feel sorry for you. Maybe i see this all so horrible becuase i have a litle brother who has to lead a life like this. And you know what, in some ways my family thinks his allergy is a blessing because of this he is the most sympathetic compassionate caring kid out there. hes so accepting of differences in others and would do anything to help anyone. And its so sad to think that this is joke worthy to you. and i wanted to thank you to because you give me a reason to try to explain to just one person. I actaully found all of this doing a school project on peanut free schools. and all i want to do is to change one persons mind, one persons opnion, one persons thought process, just so they can see each life, of everyone, because this world adn everyone in it is special, and it is bigger than each of us individually, and if that is realized, your life is wasted being stuck on yourself adn the closest to you. Alleries can form at any age, and so i highly doubt that if your child developed a life threatning allergy, you wouldnt do anything in your power to help make life work for them. and maybe it never will make sense to you in a way that makes tears well in your eyes when you think of someone so close to you dying. you dont have a person with something horribly wrong with them like my brother and his allergy to show you how to be a different better more caring person. and in a way im sorry for that because it makes you so much stonger and have such a broader persepctive on each individual person as someone who is so valuable. i garuntee if you thougth this way, those joking comments would never slip out. maybe this will help change you mind. i owe it to my brother i think to try.

7:17 PM

 
Anonymous Wilma said...

It is not the idea of a peanut/fish free school that I am having problems with...it is OUR PARTICULAR school and the way THEY are handling it. Here is an update on the citrus thing I referred to above (see *anonymous* before the last post). Joey's mom (Joey with the citrus allergy) went to the school to discuss the citrus issue, believing that if the school is that sensitive to severe allergies she should have no problem putting Joey in next year. The child can not eat/drink citrus or smell citrus. The school said "oh gee...that's too bad. We understand, but you see, if we put a ban into place for citrus on top of the nut/fish ban we'd have to do it for everybody. Maybe you need to find another school....". OUR school will not bend for one child with the same potential risk of death as the kid with the fish and nut allergy. Why?? On the one hand - *darn* them all for not banning it because of the danger...this child has to risk his life to attend school....or (as it turns out) choose to be homeschooled. On the other hand.....lets say hypothetically we have 1 kid with fish and nut allergy; 1 kid with citrus allergy; and then a kid with wheat allergy; and maybe a kid with a lactose/milk protein etc allergy. Is it realistic to expect a *public (as in *accessable to all*) school to ban ALL of this? What's left? All the kids can bring only mushrooms and kelp to school (for example) - lunch + school snacks x3 EVERY DAY. And since you bring into question my "degrading and apathetic" comments, it is within my rights to question of you - are you old/mature enough to recognize the picture bigger than that of your family unit? Or some of the other issues that face parents with respect to juggling very real "finicky eater" issues with providing a varied and healthy diet for their children? You may be...in which case we can have a healthy debate about a controversial issue that affects parents faced with a variety of public school issues....Or you may not be in which case these *other* issues will go over your head and you will be stuck on the "everybody has to think my way because MY family has this ONE issue!" I won't fault you for that - because in time and with having your own children to deal with you will learn how hard it CAN be to find a balance between all these issues.

Just a note....if I didn't care, do you think I would spend an evening ensuring every single little thing had absolutely no TRACE of nuts or was even processed in a facility that processes nuts? Do you think I would go to the extent of trying to do everything I can in SPITE of and INCLUDING compromising my OWN childrens health just to ensure this child is safe? I *could* have done what it appears MANY other parents ARE doing - almost daily my 8yo comes home saying "so-and-so had a granola bar with nuts at school today and the teacher didn't do anything about it. He was allowed to eat it". and "Mary brought a tuna sandwhich to school and when the teacher called her mom about it her mom came to the class later and got really mad at the teacher and now Mary's mom puts nuts AND tuna in her lunch everyday". THOSE are the people that need a lesson on being insensitive to allergies!! I may be frustrated and disenchanted and degrading - but I still won't actually put a childs life in danger. There is a difference between those who say and those who do.

But I digress... Yes, I made some (degrading and pathetic - sorry I guess you said Apathetic) comments about the issue. Certainly not to downplay the issue - I apologise if it seemed so. That was more because had I not said something to lighten the issue I likely - at that point - WOULD have said something way more degrading or pathetic than what I said previously. Please tell me that your family doesn't spend the whole day every day moping and catastrophizing about the worst case scenarios. For the first couple of weeks after we discovered my aunt had a cancer that would claim her life before the month was over - everybody moped and OMG'ed 24/7.....and then my great grandmother gave us some very important words of wisdom - "we could mope about it, it won't make it go away. Sometimes humour is the best way to cope with something incurable."

And at the risk of offending you again with humour....how do you know it was really a joke? You've never met us....we may really be nuts!

3:06 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no... i understand outside of my family unit. The difference though between my school and your childs may be, A, there are several kids with life threatning allergies, B, if you have something with peanuts/nuts,it is immeadiatly taken away, C, peanut and nut allergies are different in the way that the protien is carried. It has almost an oil coating to it so it can hang on to molecules differently than other things can because of the protien substance in it. With other allergies, yes, you may not be able to be around the smell, but it doesn't exactly carry the same way. Peanut and wheat alleriges are common, so its more likely for a school to facilitate a safe place for those students especially because of the tactile problems that come with peanut and nut allergies. Its just hard beacuse, its seems people dont always try to do the research for themselves. They wait for it to be laid out in front of them. ANd no, my family doesnt mope about it. like my dad actually has cnacer right now. but back on track, My brother is one of the most amazing kids ive acutally ever met... He uses his allergy as a tool to be a better person even though hes young. He understnads that differences are hard... But you respect everyone, because you don't know their story, you dont know what their life is like... He knows that his life is going to be hard, but my parents do the best to give him a normal life. Rarely does his allergy come up when he is at home because my parents provide a safe place for him. theres not time in the day to mope. They didnt ask for his allergy, he didnt ask for it, theres nothing we can do, its what it is, you have to take it, run with it, and be accepting of others that are different. I see it as life is full of inconveniences. Becasue someone doesnt get adn orange at school, a peanut butter sandwich, ect, doesnt mean they cant have it at home. Their health isnt being endangered. You have to help others, and treat them how you would want to be treated, especially if you had something that actually is quite debilitating. And you brought up a good point, public school, as in accesible to all, means everyone should be able to go. Certain life threatning allergies are covered under the american disabilities act. Just like special needs is. People dont seem to care that more of their tax money goes to special needs in some schools than it does to other education, but you ask someone to refrain from eating something for six hours, adn its world war three. So i think im mature enought in the respect that i think my parents taught me well enough, and how i have to respect everyone, and learn all of my facts before i can ever argue, or make a point. because, in the end, the reason some allergies have to be specially accomadated is because of the way their protien spreads. and in regards to finicky eaters, im wicked picky, so is my sister, and brother, but theres so many alternatives. LIke instead of peanut butter, we eat sun butter. Its wicked good, and its made peanut free, and its a lot healthier for you than peanuts are. SOy butter is also peanut free, which can be used just like peanut butter. ANd instead of nuts we eat Wheat Nuts, they are really good, and nut free contrary to the name, they say right on the back how they are proud to be "safe". So there really are a lot of alternatives. They have alternatives for almost all allergies. Like my best friend has celiac desies, which means she cant eat wheat and gluten. But because the protien isnt carried the same way, she doesnt have to worry as much about tactile reactions, and she just has to bring her own lunch.

6:38 PM

 

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