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Education Government Idle

3rd-Grader Busted For Jolly Rancher Possession 804

Posted by samzenpus
from the step-away-from-the-candy dept.
theodp writes "A third-grader in a small Texas school district received a week's detention for merely possessing a Jolly Rancher. Leighann Adair, 10, was eating lunch Monday when a teacher confiscated the candy. Her parents said she was in tears when she arrived home later that afternoon and handed them the detention notice. But school officials are defending the sentence, saying the school was abiding by a state guideline that banned 'minimal nutrition' foods. 'Whether or not I agree with the guidelines, we have to follow the rules,' said school superintendent Jack Ellis."

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3rd-Grader Busted For Jolly Rancher Possession

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  • by ls671 (1122017) * on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:10AM (#32155700) Homepage

    What were the parents thinking ?

    We are obviously faced with a loophole in the law here. We urgently need to enhance the law so we can prosecute the parents of the child with criminal charges.

    • Not her parents... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Fallen Kell (165468) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:16AM (#32155834)
      The state law does not restrict what the parents may include in a child's lunch, however, the girl's parents did not include the candy, it was given to her by another student (probably a friend)... Still seems very stupid, especially if her parents were to give her other foods lacking in nutritional value.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Well obviously we have to crack down on this before the underground network of candy distribution of schools becomes a threat to our children's education and health. Unchecked candy eating will lead to precious seconds taken away from education due to required teeth brushing.

        -- gid

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ls671 (1122017) *

        Who gives a f* about which parent it is ?

        As long as we can prosecute parents, everything is fine. If friend's parents are responsible, then problem solved.

        That was the basic spirit expressed in my enhancement of the law proposal.

    • by homey of my owney (975234) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:46AM (#32156472)
      Guns don't kill people, Jolly Ranchers do.
    • by Fael (939668) on Monday May 10, 2010 @11:24AM (#32157256)
      Jolly Ranchers may be relatively harmless in and of themselves, but it is well known that they are a gateway to the "harder" stuff (not literally, nothing's actually harder than a Jolly Rancher.) Sure, today little Chastity Amber is sucking innocently on a Jolly Rancher (and if that sentence doesn't bother you, it should), but tomorrow she's chowing down some Now&Laters. And that shit be quantum. Is she eating it now? Is she eating it later? Until you actually open her mouth and look inside, she's doing both.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rene S. Hollan (1943)

      Actually no, most "child protection" laws are civil laws. This means that children can be removed from homes, and parents punished for "abuse" or "neglect" without due process of law. Many people do not understand this and wonder why their children are removed without them being found guilty of any crime.

      Realize that you have the right to due process prior to being deprived of life or liberty. But, one's children do not fall into either category. The best constitutional argument. I would think, would be vi

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Curunir_wolf (588405)

        Actually no, most "child protection" laws are civil laws.

        Of course. That's because the state considers your children their property. You are expected to care for them properly and not abuse them, send them to the indoctrination centers every day, and you will be paid a token stipend (in the form of a "deduction") at the end of the year.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wisnoskij (1206448)

      She is 10 years old, obviously she is not in charge of her own food.
      Her parents and the school are the only ones who should be supplying her with food, so why is she the one getting detention?

      It cannot be expected of her to have self control or to even understand health, take the food away and punish the source, anything else is just ridiculous.

  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:11AM (#32155718)

    From our so-called educators.

    • by courteaudotbiz (1191083) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:17AM (#32155850) Homepage
      I would add that this law is totally invading the right of the person to eat whatever he/she wants! Who are they to tell me NOT to eat a pack of Jolly Rancher? Or to tell my kid that I should not let him/her eat this crap occasionnaly?

      When did the Jolly Ranchers become illegal and subject to be excluded from school?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        When did the Jolly Ranchers become illegal and subject to be excluded from school?

        Ever since they had the potential to be a god damned mess in school. [mysanantonio.com]

        It has nothing to do with nutrition, it has to do with the fact that a wet jolly rancher is a bitch to clean up. Same with gum.

        This is what's seriously wrong with our society today, no one wants to deal with nuance or a deeper story.

    • by eln (21727) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:18AM (#32155858) Homepage
      This is "zero tolerance" done the wrong way. If we're going to go zero tolerance, we need to go all the way. Upon discovery of the illicit candy, she should have been summarily executed on the spot.

      Seriously though, a week detention for candy? How about starting with a polite note home to the parents explaining the policy? All a detention will do is set up an adversarial relationship where the parents will fight the school on everything they try to do from now on.
      • by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:26AM (#32156036)

        All a detention will do is set up an adversarial relationship where the parents will fight the school on everything they try to do from now on.

        If that happens, it'll be the best thing that ever happened to the kid. My mom's often adversarial relationship with school administrations kept me out of some truly weird shit.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by bsDaemon (87307)

          My mom's often adversarial relationship with school administrations kept me out of some truly weird shit.

          Like gym class? I bet it was gym class, wasn't it?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            My mom's often adversarial relationship with school administrations kept me out of some truly weird shit.

            Like gym class? I bet it was gym class, wasn't it?

            Catechism class, actually. Public school in the boonies, not much oversight, so we had an off-the-books Catholic indoctrination class every week.

            Like I said, some truly weird shit.

      • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:27AM (#32156086) Journal

        I remember when I was 10 or 11 some kid being sent home because their parents had sent them to school with a couple of Tylenol because they'd hurt their arm. The Tylenol was deemed to violate the school's zero tolerance on drugs rule.

        As I recall, the parents ended up getting an apology from the Principal.

        What always amuses me about "zero tolerance" rules in schools is that they'll enforce it against these sorts of idiotic things, but if it's zero tolerance rule against bullying, they go out of their way not to enforce it. It's a classic case, often seen in bureaucracies and police forces, of trying to look tough by taking on easily enforceable bans and basically turning their backs on the tough stuff.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jcwren (166164)

      I've always preferred to call it the "Zero Intelligence" policy. As all too often demonstrated by school administrators.

  • This has to be the most idiotic story I've read in years. Someone clearly isn't in touch with reality here.

    • Re:Wow... (Score:4, Informative)

      by ShakaUVM (157947) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:23AM (#32155972) Homepage Journal

      >>This has to be the most idiotic story I've read in years. Someone clearly isn't in touch with reality here.

      Heh, when I was in high school back in the 90s, I was in journalism. We had very nearly the exact same story happen in our area. The reason was different (educators didn't want kids sticking them to desks), but the effect was the same.

      We also got to run a story about a Boy Scout being kicked out of school and refused graduation because he brought a (dull-tipped) Swiss Army knife to school. I think that was upheld on appeal, too, but I can't recall the details.

      In local news, a year back we had a school shooting at a local community college. The board met to discuss what should be done, since the guy clearly was in violation of the zero tolerance signs posted up all over campus.

      Their decision? They made the font bigger on the signs.

      • Re:Wow... (Score:4, Funny)

        by muckracer (1204794) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:31AM (#32156176)

        > In local news, a year back we had a school shooting at a local community college. The board met to discuss what should be done, since the guy clearly was in violation of the zero tolerance signs posted up all over campus.

        > Their decision? They made the font bigger on the signs.

        Well those guys really are idiots. I mean, they shouldn't wonder if it happens again cuz they totally forgot to add Braille!!

  • Kids today. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Petersko (564140) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:15AM (#32155800)
    In my day we managed to carry around weed and not get caught. The fact that she got caught with a Jolly Rancher proves what I suspect - kids today are a little slower, mentally speaking.

    Learning to get away with stuff is vital to the developmental process. I see a sad future where the adults of tomorrow are too stupid to run a decent ponzi scheme, and all the good ones are owned by foreigners.
  • by the_one_wesp (1785252) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:19AM (#32155902)
    taking candy from a 3rd grader
  • by skywire (469351) * on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:20AM (#32155912)

    This third grader, her parents and those who read the story are learning a valuable lesson about the nature of the state.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Asic Eng (193332)
      About a specific state. It doesn't have to be like this, it is not like this in most western countries and people in the US should demand better.
    • by Buelldozer (713671) <{cliff} {at} {gindulis.net}> on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:36AM (#32156270)

      This article, and many more like it, prove the existence of a growing "Nanny State.". I often read people dismissing "Slippery Slope" arguments but here is a real life example.

      Someone passed a guideline to try and help children eat healthier and suddenly children are being punished for possessing a piece of candy.

      It doesn't take a genius to see how this is going to play out in other realms such as healthcare and finance. After all, the bureaucratic morons running the schools are essentially the same bureaucratic morons that you'll find doing the administrative work in local, state, and federal governments.

      No, not all of the administrators in a school or the government are morons. Many of them are intelligent and capable people. The problem is that they're outnumbered by the morons.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kimvette (919543)

        I agree about the slippery slope, and what others have posted about "zero tolerance" bullshit. However the part that is really monumentally moronic here is that those nutritional food guidelines are supposed to cover school-provided foods, NOT what lunches parents send their kids to school with, Public schools have absolutely no right to monitor such things providing the kids aren't consuming banned narcotics, etc.

        The "zero tolerance" anti-drug rules are also idiotic. There is absofuckinglutely NOTHING wro

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by oddTodd123 (1806894)
        This was not about children eating healthier. It was about gum and hard candy making a mess and being banned by the school district.

        The small school district, which has three campuses in Orchard and Wallis, bans gum and candy because, [Superintendent] Ellis said, “It creates a mess. It's all over your furniture and your floors.”

        from http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/education/Candy_is_dandy__but_not_at_school_3rd-grader_learns.html [mysanantonio.com]

      • The problem doesn't stem from giving kids nutritional guidelines. When I was growing up we learned about the food groups, etc, and nobody got disciplined for eating junk food.

        The problem stems from an unchecked authoritarian mindset among school administrators. Since the 80s, the easy solution to social problems has been to criminalize bad behavior and institute harsh penalties across the board. Now when a child brings utensils for his lunch, he gets hit with weapons violations [nytimes.com]. A girl rumored to poss [cnn.com]

  • by razathorn (151590) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:21AM (#32155936)

    while walking home from school after teacher implements zero tolerance policy and confiscates condition-regulating candy.

    I suppose it would take something terrible like the hypothetical situation above to put tolerance back into the system.

  • I don't get it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Cowpat (788193) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:24AM (#32155982) Journal

    Her parents think the detention is stupid, tell the school that she won't be staying for it, and there's nothing the school can do about it. Right?
    In loco parentis doesn't trump erm, er, whatever the Latin for 'actual parents' is, does it?
    Here in the UK when my teacher tried to include me in a class detention because most of the class were misbehaving, my parents told the school that they wouldn't be allowing me to be kept in, and that was the end of it.

  • State Guidelines? (Score:5, Informative)

    by the_one_wesp (1785252) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:24AM (#32156016)

    The Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (TPSNP) explicitly states that it does not restrict what foods or beverages parents may provide for their own children's consumption. The policy also explicitly states that school officials may adopt a local policy that is more restrictive than the state's.

    State guidelines [squaremeals.org] my big fat triple stacker cheeseburger. That would have had to been a school imposed Policy, according to this.

  • by blcamp (211756) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:26AM (#32156054) Homepage

    If this EVER happend to my kid, I would be down at this principal's office, telling him to shove thier policy up their ass sideways and my son would absolutely not be serving any detention over a friggin' piece of candy.

    They want to press? I'll be pressing buttons on the phone for my lawyer and the local newsmedia myself. Legal nightmare, PR nightmare, financial nightmare... they'll have all of that for sure.

    • Parents like you are why highly experienced well trained teachers leave the profession and public schools struggle to find decent replacements.

      Parents threatening financial and personal ruin on teachers do not encourage 21 year olds to take up this profession, and drive existing teachers out of schools fearing for their own safety. Let's face it, you don't go into teaching to make millions and retire early. You do it because you believe its a great thing to do, you do it for the love of it. Parents threaten

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by sconeu (64226)

        GP wasn't threatening personal and financial ruin on a teacher -- he was threatening school administration, as a proxy for the district.

  • by silentcoder (1241496) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:27AM (#32156090) Homepage

    It's even stupider than that. The rules the board are citing clearly states that they do NOT restrict what foods parents can give their children.

    But the candy didn't come from her parents, it was given to her by another student, who had gotten it from HER parents.

    Nobody is suggesting punishing the other child though.

    I seem to recall when I was in school, if you brought candy you were ENCOURAGED to share with the class. Now if you share a piece of candy with your friend - your friend gets detention !

    Seriously, it's noble for the department to ensure that children get a decent, healthy and nutritional meal at lunchtime. Punishing a child for taking part in the time honored tradition of sharing (especially the recipient) is just outright stupid.

    • by BarryJacobsen (526926) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:34AM (#32156246) Homepage

      But the candy didn't come from her parents, it was given to her by another student, who had gotten it from HER parents.

      Nobody is suggesting punishing the other child though.

      I'm suggesting it. She should be charged as an adult with contributing to the delinquency of a minor - Punishment of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2500.00. Anything less and the terrorists will have won.

  • by mtinsley (1283400) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:29AM (#32156128) Homepage
    then crack. Clearly the guidelines are in place to protect children from this heinous gateway drug/candy.
  • Liars (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jer (18391) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:30AM (#32156150) Homepage

    saying the school was abiding by a state guideline that banned 'minimal nutrition' foods. 'Whether or not I agree with the guidelines, we have to follow the rules,' said school superintendent Jack Ellis."

    Except that the state guideline is intended to restrict what the school provides to students, not what students bring into the school themselves. It's about making sure that the school is meeting nutritional requirements in the lunches it provides and not that it's taking state and federal funding dollars to provide the students with pizza bought from the Domino's franchise owned by the principal's brother. It's actually explicit even in the linked article without having to read the linked statute, and the administrators dance around it as "well the parent didn't provide it - it came from another student". Still didn't come from the school - still not covered by the law.

    The school administrators making this claim are either idiots or liars. They could, I suppose, be idiots - plenty of idiots get moved into administration positions where they can do less harm to students than in front of a chalkboard. But it's more likely that they're liars who think that if they "blame the government" they can divert attention away from themselves. They don't want candy in school? That's fine - when I was a kid the administrators at my elementary school had the same rule. But they didn't try to pretend like they were conforming to some fictional government requirement to restrict candy in the school. They just said "no candy in school" and that was that. And if the parents had a problem with it they could bring it up at the school board meeting and get the school board to change the policy.

  • by ExRex (47177) <elliotNO@SPAMajoure.net> on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:38AM (#32156290) Homepage
    From the article:
    “The Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (TPSNP) explicitly states that it does not restrict what foods or beverages parents may provide for their own children's consumption.
    "Brazos Elementary Principal Jeanne Young, said the problem, in this instance, was that the candy was provided by another student – not the girl’s parents."

    I think the candy pusher deserves the sentence, not the simple user. This is just like the Rockefeller laws, punishing the victim of sugar addiction rather than the seller. Oh, I know she didn't buy the candy, but the first one is always free, y'know.
  • by ZonkerWilliam (953437) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:40AM (#32156344) Journal
    Let's say banning salt in New York? and having a $1000 fine if you break that "law" http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/03/11/2010-03-11_assault_on_salt_an_insult_chefs.html [nydailynews.com]
  • by natehoy (1608657) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:48AM (#32156524) Journal

    Much more enlightening than the coverage provided was a story in a local newspaper. They (gasp!) actually took the time to talk to the school officials involved and determine why such a ban exists, and why the punishment was so harsh. Heavens! It's almost like they engaged in, dare I say it, journalism! What's really telling is that it was on about page 7 of the Google search results list, well after all the blogs and screaming and angst over this injustice.

    http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/education/Candy_is_dandy__but_not_at_school_3rd-grader_learns.html [mysanantonio.com]

    Candy was not banned at the school because of a "nutritional" requirement, certain types of candy were banned because the kids were making a mess with them, and it was getting expensive to have to keep cleaning it up. Personally, I'd make any kid caught making a mess with candy give up a week or two of recess and spend time helping to clean the school. Or send their parents the janitor's bill for a day and let them enforce the problem with their little darlings. But a ban is probably an easier, if less fair, way to deal with the minority who were making a mess.

    This still might be an overly harsh punishment for an action that doesn't even deserve punishment, but the real reason is far more interesting than the knee-jerk sells-newspapers coverage I've seen everywhere else.

    • by nuggz (69912) on Monday May 10, 2010 @11:20AM (#32157170) Homepage

      Shouldn't the eating areas be constructed to facilitate cleaning?
      I understand chewing gum bans, but jolly ranchers?

      As far as junk food bans, this is getting crazy.
      A friend of mine had her daughters zero calorie soda confiscated, yet other kids can keep their kool aid and juice boxes, which are less healthy by many accounts.

      The governments solution to bad decisions by parents is to empower teachers and administration to make bad decisions instead.

      This is ridiculous.

      Kids should eat in an easy to clean area, they should be able to eat whatever the parents decide to send.

    • I read the attached article, but I still call BS. From the 2nd until 8th grade,I sold candy at school: Now and Laters, Jolly Ranchers, Blow Pops, and a slew of other "hard candy." Not once did it make a mess. I have a 2nd grader and the kids share candy all the time in the cafeteria. There's no mess. You can paint this anyway you want, but educators know better. Jolly Ranchers aren't new and it's not like there's been a rash of Jolly incidents. Gum, ok, I can understand. However, there's no commonailty between gum and hard candy. FWIW, I take a JR and throw it against the wall as hard as I can and the mess (assuming the wrapper comes open) can be cleaned in about 2 minutes. That's nothing compared to what happens with green peas. Those suckers go everywhere. Should we outlaw peas, carrots, mashed potatoes (hard to get out of ears and noses)? Again, BS.
  • by mrjb (547783) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:49AM (#32156530)
    <sarcasm>It's much more important for schools to prevent our children from eating candy, than it is to actually educate our children. The sugar in the candy might actually have helped the child to stay alert during the next lesson, which of course should be prevented at all costs- after all, knowledge is dangerous!</sarcasm>
  • by demon driver (1046738) on Monday May 10, 2010 @11:00AM (#32156750) Journal

    ... when every couple of years one of the not-so-well-adjusted kids gets himself a gun and makes them pay. As far as I'm concerned, actually I'm surprised that it's only one of them every couple of years.

We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't a fish. -- Marshall McLuhan

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