Public School Gingerbread House
It sounds like a dark, lurid tale. An evil creature luring little children to a feast. The kiddies get fat and sassy on limitless sweets and meat pies. Fat and sassy, indolent and apathetic, and finally, completely helpless against the terrible fate the evil creature had, all along, designed for them. This is not “Hansel and Gretel,” this is the feeding trough of the public school free food trap.
Public schools have latched on to the pseudo-compassionate trend of feeding its children morning, noon, and evening, weekends, and summertime too. These programs are not frequented by the threadbare, emaciated soup lines of the Great Depression. These are soup kitchens teeming with modern American eating machines, they are neither threadbare nor emaciated. Quite the opposite in fact. Outside several of the elementary schools in my local district are signs which read “Community lunch program,” or some such thing. If they were intellectually honest the signs would say, “Enter this cafeteria and let the taxpayers of America provide for your extended caloric intake of breakfast and lunch. The food will cost you nothing and you don’t really need it because at the minimum 60-70% of you partaking in the free school meals programs are overweight and obese. You don’t have to have a child in school. Heck, you don’t even have to have a kid to get your free breakfast and lunch. But you will eat it because it is a freebie, while the American taxpayer groans under the weight of unnecessary food programs like this one. In the meantime you will forget how to care for yourselves, your kids, and you will be hindered by your slavish dependence on the nanny state.”
Was it a law? Was it a national food crisis? Have children and their families been starving on the doorsteps of American schools? No, no, and no. It is a two-fold perversity in thinking that brings school districts, via the USDA and state programs, to shovel food at the hoards. First, the more “poor” people you service the more federal money you receive. School districts spend little local money to support their food programs. That means cafeteria jobs. Second, it makes the less emotionally developed among us feel heroic to feed the not-hungry, not-starving, ever-fatter, denizens of these programs. Politically correct sentiment and public monies are an addictive cocktail, immediately hooking providers, kids, families, and the tax payer into a spiral of self-reinforcing substance (food, federal funding) abuse, and social illness (dependence, obesity, perpetual social poverty).
If this is happening in your community you should be outraged. Ask yourselves the question: Since when did it become the job of public schools to feed the community? What happened to education? What happened to preparing young minds for independence and success? The witch of Hansel and Gretel was not nearly as evil or grotesque as this trend. This evil creature, free food, all year, is yet another way to destroy incentive, encourage helplessness and dependence, along with the twisted expectation that it is the government’s job to feed people and their children where there is no lack and no crisis of supply.
Perhaps the children, like the adolescent heroes of Hansel and Gretel, will catch the evil creature unawares, and shove her into her own trap, the super heated oven of national debt. But in this case, using the psychology of dependence, children and families will only turn on the nanny state if it stops providing for their taxpayer supported addiction. At some point all the players will self-immolate. The sad thing is, the children will not escape this trap. Parents, feed your children yourselves. Don’t allow them to wander into the Gingerbread House of nanny-state dependence.
By Marjorie Haun 6/21/2011