Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Governor Schwarzenegger Gets It Right!

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is urging a state wide ban on the selling of junk food (including soft drinks) in public schools. Schwarzenegger wants to replace the sugary treats with more nutritious snacks such as fruits and juices:
"First of all, we in California this year are introducing legislation that would ban all the sale of junk food in the schools," Schwarzenegger said during a question-and-answer session with fans on the final day of the Arnold Classic, the annual bodybuilding contest that bears his name.
As a practicing classroom teacher, I heartily endorse the governor in this effort. Several years ago, school administrators got it into their collective money-obsessed heads that it would be a good idea to sell junk food to kids in order to raise money for the purchasing of items and services that were supposedly "to enhance student life."

The funds that were raised could not be used for field trips, books, instructional materials, building/grounds maintenance, or anything else related to the school's primary mission-- the education of children.

The monies were often used for school dances, parties, "school beautification" projects (flowers, plants, etc.) and even a "shade structure" for kids to socialize under while waiting for the school day to begin.

We don't have any problem whatsoever with kids having a little fun at school. It is said, "All work and no play makes Jack (or Jill) a dull boy." Having said that, anyone that has experienced the effect that candy has on children would have questioned the logic of selling sugar-loaded treats to children in the first place.

Consider the situation: a child ingests a candy bar or two and then is expected to come into a classroom and sit still for nearly an hour and remain focused on the day's lesson.

We just wonder why it took so long for someone to evaluate a policy based upon its educational merit rather than its fundraising potential. We have to give kudos to Schwarzenegger on this one.
An Invitation: Please consider contributing to The Carnival Of Education: Week 5. All submissions should be received by 10:00 PM (Pacific) tonight. They may be sent to owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net. Get all the details here. The Carnival will open here at The Wonks tomorrow morning.

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