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Education Idle

School Sends Child's Lunch Home After Determining it Unhealthy 554

halfEvilTech writes "A North Carolina mom is irate after her four-year-old daughter returned home late last month with an uneaten lunch the mother had packed for the girl earlier that day. But she wasn't mad because the daughter decided to go on a hunger strike. Instead, the reason the daughter didn't eat her lunch is because someone at the school determined the lunch wasn't healthy enough and sent it back home. What was wrong with the lunch? That's still a head-scratcher because it didn't contain anything egregious: a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice. But for the inspector on hand that day, it didn't meet the healthy requirements."
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School Sends Child's Lunch Home After Determining it Unhealthy

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  • Despicable (Score:1, Insightful)

    by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <> on Thursday February 16, 2012 @08:40PM (#39068449) Homepage Journal
    .... not so much the fact that this may have happened, but the fact that slashdot put it on the front page. This story has set the conservative blogosphere alight over "obama's nanny state" and what have you while overlooking one huge glaring problem here...

    They are taking the word of a four year old kid to be god's-own-truth. I'm not saying she's intentionally lying, but how many reliable four year olds have you met in your life time? There could well be a very large gap between what she was told and what she thought she heard, and yet another between what she did and what she told her parents.
  • by malchus842 ( 741252 ) <> on Thursday February 16, 2012 @08:45PM (#39068517)
    Did you read what was in the lunch? You missed it. Not just a sandwhich and chips. A banana. Apple Juice. This is a perfectly healthy meal. The nanny state has gone mad and the enforcers have lost their minds due to abusive power....
  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <> on Thursday February 16, 2012 @08:47PM (#39068577) Homepage Journal
    Headline news!!! Someone unnamed, somewhere in America, did something stupid in a SCHOOL!!! To a LITTLE KID!!! And OFFENDED HER MOMMY!!!

    Obviously, all of our rights are in danger! This is not an isolated incident, not just some person out there who's having a bad day, it's a slippery slope!!! WE ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO NIP THIS IN THE BUD!

    OK, I'll get my breath back now.

    I think it's a much bigger problem that anyone on Slashdot would think this story is worth posting.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @08:48PM (#39068583) Homepage Journal

    There was also the apple juice and a banana. It sure sounds better than the chicken nuggets the school gave the kid as a replacement.

    But don't let the facts get in the way!

    So, which one do you hate, fat people or parents? You seem to have unresolved issues somewhere.

  • by reub2000 ( 705806 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @08:49PM (#39068599)

    Since when is apple juice healthy?

  • Re:Article is BS. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by paiute ( 550198 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @08:50PM (#39068617)
    This "story" was debunked on other sites, including reddit, hours ago. What the hell, Slashdot?
  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @08:54PM (#39068673)
    From TFA:

    But what was so wrong with the lunch the mother provided? Nothing apparently. A spokesowman for the Division of Child Development explained that the mother’s meal should have been okay.

    “With a turkey sandwich, that covers your protein, your grain, and if it had cheese on it, that’s the dairy,” Jani Kozlowski, the fiscal and statutory policy manager for the division, told the Journal. “It sounds like the lunch itself would’ve met all of the standard.”

    It‘s unclear from reports who determined the lunch wasn’t healthy enough. ... The school denied knowledge of the incident and said it’s looking into it.

    The real funny thing is at the bottom of TFA, people are posting rants against the Gov'ment and Michelle Obama, but it's a North Carolina rule, so people should be upset with their elected officials instead and, by proxy, themselves for voting for them...

  • by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @09:05PM (#39068821) Homepage
    "If you (a consenting adult) wants to eat toxic garbage I have no problem with this (provided your insurance covers the costs)"

    Ding-ding-ding-ding... this, right here, is why we will never have socialized medicine in the US: because people like you see it as an excuse to start designating what is "right." It is exactly the reason there was such a fuss, and while largely unfounded, it obviously had some truth as long as this sort of nonsense gets spewed.
  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @09:15PM (#39068943)

    The mother voluntarily enrolled in a program to give her kid extra food, since she was unable to provide full meals every day. She received a note from the school that she may be charged for such extra portions in the future, but not a single parent has been charged to date.

    So please, enlighten us as to how this is "the nanny state gone mad", and not just a case of morons being fooled into thinking that a mole hill is a mountain?

  • Re:BOGUS STORY (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 16, 2012 @09:23PM (#39069047)

    And once again, we see the difference between slashdot and a reasonably reliable news site.

    How the hell does crap like this make it onto slashdot??? Is there some deep-seated desire to cultivate the image of this site being run by and for a bunch of undereducated dorks who have not clue one about how the world works? If so, congratulations -- you managed to keep that misperception alive for at least another month or two with this non-story.

  • Re:Despicable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <> on Thursday February 16, 2012 @09:27PM (#39069089) Homepage Journal

    taking the word of a four year old kid

    In what way, exactly? The girl's mother says she received a note from the school regarding the incident. Are you claiming the 4 year old kid faked the note?

    No, I am not claiming the note to be fake.

    Go back and re-RTFA. They did not say that the note was specifically in response to this lunch, only that it came from the school - time not specified. While the receipt was from the same day, the note could have been a school policy that was handed out when preschool first started.

    Even more so, people are taking the girl's word that the school somehow ordered her to not heat her own lunch and have only three chicken nuggets. I'm not accusing her of lying, rather I am inclined to believe she did not understand what she was told.

  • News for Nerds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dave Emami ( 237460 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @09:28PM (#39069107) Homepage
    I was interested when I read this story elsewhere, but what is it doing on Slashdot? Our school lunch experiences are more along these lines []. That or getting our lunch money stolen by brawnier members of the student body.
  • Re:Despicable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <> on Thursday February 16, 2012 @09:32PM (#39069155) Homepage Journal

    Yes. Obviously conservatives are taking the kids word for it. Not the physical evidence, like the note, or demands to pay, or anything else.

    As I've already said in other replies, the note is questionable as to when it was sent home. The article linked to from this story did not specify that the note regarding the school checking lunches was received the same day; it could have been a policy note that was sent home earlier.

    The receipt for the chicken nuggets only shows that the girl bought chicken nuggets. It does not, however, support the allegations that she was ordered to not eat her own lunch and have instead only the chicken nuggets as many "news" sites want us to believe. It does not support in any way her being separated from her lunch at any time during the lunch hour, for that matter.

    How the hell your post got to +5 boggles my mind.

    Maybe because it was a more reasonable evaluation of the facts provided than the summaries that are flying all over the conservative blogosphere?

    Don't worry, though. The drugedot conservatives will have it down to (-1, flamebait) soon enoiugh.

  • by tragedy ( 27079 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @09:42PM (#39069259)

    Developing cognitive abilities in a young child can involve eating a lot of fats that you probably consider unhealthy and would deny to a child on a knee-jerk response.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 16, 2012 @09:42PM (#39069261)

    Dude, she wasn't forced to eat anything. She was offered something else and took it. They may have not even known she had a home lunch with her. 4-year-olds aren't exactly the most forthcoming or entirely aware people in the world.

    As for the political aspect, even if the lunch lady whacked her over the head with a yard stick and then force fed the girl cow shit, how the hell is it Obama's fault? What's next, Obama is to blame for all euthanized kittens?

  • Re:BOGUS STORY (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @09:56PM (#39069375) Journal

    'She came home with her whole sandwich I had packed, because she chose to eat the nuggets on the lunch tray, because they put it in front of her,' her mother said.

    They told a four year old kid that her lunch was "bad". What four year old would eat it after that? You obviously never had a four year old kid.

    Second, you never answered the questions, what were the fried nuggets supplementing in the lunch? Yeah .. I thought so.

  • Re:Despicable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by einhverfr ( 238914 ) <chris.travers@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday February 16, 2012 @10:09PM (#39069509) Homepage Journal

    I am no fan of Obama but I can't see how such a school district policy can remotely be tied to the federal government.

  • Re:BOGUS STORY (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @10:15PM (#39069563)

    Funny you put quotes around "bad". How do you know they said such a thing? Maybe they said, "Wow, Sally, that lunch sure looks tasty. Would you like some chicken nuggets to go with it?" And maybe "Sally" happily took the nuggets and decided that she didn't feel like eating the other parts of her meal.

    As for what they were supplementing, I'd assume it was to give her some extra protein. Maybe the nuggets were unnecessary, but if you're backpedaling from "evil leftist nanny state stole her lunch" to "they gave her a bit of free, extra food that wasn't strictly necessary", well, you might just want to find something else to get angry about.

  • Re:Despicable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @10:26PM (#39069667)

    However, the moment you say "at our option we may charge you for things you did not request" you set up all sorts of nasty incentives.

    Right. Just look at the phone company.

  • by causality ( 777677 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @10:27PM (#39069669)

    And yet you claim that "The School Person REPLACED the whole lunch with an ALTERNATE version, not just 'supplemented'," and then go off on a rant about the evil leftwing nanny state. You should be ashamed of spreading these hateful lies.

    Sounds like they gave her an additional lunch and told her that her mother didn't pack something healthy enough. That they might have called it a supplement doesn't change the fact that it was functionally a replacement. That would be reasonable if the USDA provided objectively good nutritional standards, but instead we have an organization which has been legally required to recognize the tomato sauce on pizza as a serving of a vegetable having their standards used to second-guess a good wholesome lunch sent by the parent.

    My suspicion is that this is a way for the school to bring in additional revenue. If I were the parent, I would send the school a letter saying that you had not agreed to the transaction and that you will not pay it. If they send it to collections you send a letter of dispute. If they persist, threaten to organize a class action law suit.

    I don't advocate this sort of thing but in response to how bureaucratic and legalistic we're becoming as a society, I just want to remind everyone of how things were once done.

    There was a time when the father would have a personal one-on-one chitchat with a government agent who, under color of authority, decided that intimidating a little girl and decided that he is better able than her parents to decide how she should live. This may involve a discussion, a shouting match, or it may also involve said government agent getting the living shit beaten out of him in a fistfight. That would depend solely on whether he admits fault and changes his policies. Of course, this was a time when two men could have a fistfight so long as it was understood that when the man stays down, he's had enough. One way or another, this kind of overreach was not tolerated and being that kind of a jackass became increasingly painful.

    Was the result more people getting yelled at and beaten up? Not at all, because everyone knew there was a line that you did not cross without consequence. The result was that the school officials tried at least to appear to be reasonable. The message was, you can screw with my taxes, you can screw with my vote, maybe you can even screw with my car, and I'll go through the bullshit motions of working with the system and seeking redress etc, but if you screw with my family you're going to have a war.

    We've become so pussified that we think that's somehow savage or too extreme. The truth is, when you're not going to take this kind of shit no matter what, people recognize it and they rarely if ever try it. The result is better for everyone. Why should decent people be frustrated by this kind of soft tyranny? Those who would inflict it should be frustrated at how afraid they are to try it.

    I know it can't be true, but sometimes it seems like nobody appreciates what you're actually teaching the next generation of children when you train them from a very young age to expect that authority is arbitrary and can come along and screw with you for any reason or no real reason at all, that even the relationship between mother and child is not too sacred for their interference. When they're all on antidepressants and antipsychotics long before they get driver's licenses, I guess you'll blame TV and video games, right? Never having the security of boundaries that will be respected has nothing to do with it, right?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 16, 2012 @10:34PM (#39069713)

    Yep, because being a parent means you get an automatic right to flip shit over every interaction your child has with anyone else without those annoying requirements like "making sense" or "responding to what occurred and not what you think the worst interpretation could possibly be". And if you separate from the other parent, you can do it to them too, in court! What fun!

  • by causality ( 777677 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @10:34PM (#39069717)

    Dude, she wasn't forced to eat anything. She was offered something else and took it. They may have not even known she had a home lunch with her. 4-year-olds aren't exactly the most forthcoming or entirely aware people in the world.

    So you have government agents intruding, for no good reason, into the relationship between mother and child ... and you want to quibble about how they go about it, which method of doing this is acceptable and which is not, and sweep it all under the rug? I can't be the only one to understand how dreadfully psychotic this actually is. This belief of yours, whom does this serve ... you? Hah.

    In a way you're right though, Obama is not personally to blame. The problem is not that Obama is the President. The problem is that the federal government was ever involved in education. Once that happened, this kind of thing became inevitable.

  • Re:Despicable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 16, 2012 @10:42PM (#39069763)

    Please stop repeating these right-wing, scaremongering lies.

    What right-wing, scaremongering lies? Okay, so the school didn't go through with charging this particular parent the $1.25.

    But still.... Turkey sandwich with cheese and lettuce = BAD
    Ground up chicken slime nuggets = GOOD ?

    Sure, right-wing blogs could be wrongly blaming Obama, but if the above is truly what being a left-winger means, then I'm going to have to turn in my socialist card.

  • Re:Despicable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markjhood2003 ( 779923 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @10:44PM (#39069795)
    How is this story a right-wing lie? As an old leftie I'm horrified by the idea of the USDA mandating what foods should go into a healthy school lunch. The USDA is an organization set up to protect factory agriculture interests, not your child's. These were the people who determined that ketchup counted as a serving of vegetables. They have absolutely no business overriding a parent's food choices for their children. If the right-wing is up in arms about this, then more power to them.
  • by mosb1000 ( 710161 ) <> on Thursday February 16, 2012 @11:31PM (#39070131)

    The thing is that back in the '30s most people viewed the government with a great deal of suspicion. Outlaws were held up as nobel freedom-fighters. Even the the Barrow gang was fine until they apparently shot a traffic patrolman in cold blood. If the government went to kick a family off their land, the nation was incensed by it.

    These days, the balance of trust has shifted. People don't trust each other at all, and they often view the government as the lesser of two evils (even though they don't trust it either).

    So standing up to officials is likely to get your children taken by social services, and it isn't likely to get you much sympathy. And getting in a fist fight over it will get you jail-time.

    The problem isn't that we don't stand up for ourselves (the fact that 3 million people are in jail is a testament to that), but that we put our faith in the government to save us from each other, when the government is what we should be mainly worried about.

Recent research has tended to show that the Abominable No-Man is being replaced by the Prohibitive Procrastinator. -- C.N. Parkinson