Monday, September 24, 2012

So funny! I have hope for our future, now. Thanks, kids!

This video, in protest of Michelle Obama's heavy-handed, freedom-killing food mandates for school children, has my heart soaring! Maybe the youth of this nation are not lost yet! I sure hope the kids' parents don't suddenly find themselves audited by the feds….

Meanwhile, ENJOY!!!! 

"A parody on the national school lunch policy mandated by The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010."

To learn more about the Kansas teachers and kids who put this video together, go here. Way to go citizenry! Fight the Federal Food Police and Nutrition Nannies! Freeeeeeeeedooooommm!!!

Oh, and thanks to an inspiring homily yesterday at mass, and a few pep talks from great readers, I am definitely back to talking about politics. At this moment in our nation's history, what could be more important?



  1. Politics, politics, RA RA RA!

    "I love beef" HAHA

  2. "The head lunch guy, when we told him we were going to burn a copy of the law, he asked if he could bring the matches ..."

    I wish I went to a school like that!

    Great video! I wonder how they convinced the EMS people to let the kid fall out of the ambulance like that?

  3. Good for them! I ran track and cross country year round in high school, and I remember the need for food. I ate so much more as an athlete. We ate healthy food, and I only weighed about 107 pounds, but we needed a lot of it. Some people forget that kids are different than adults and that kids' needs vary among each other as well. Age, health, activity level, schedule, metabolism, etc., all factor into lunch needs. An athlete may need tons of food, whereas a non-athlete may be fine with the 850-calorie school lunches.

    This is why centralized planning never works -- They just can't adjust for every individual. They can't take into account every need or every circumstance no matter good intentions. Sure, they could make a waiver for athletes or tweak this or that, but they will never be able to adjust for everyone unless they back off and allow families to share in personal decisions and exercise their own judgment. When families have choices, they can adjust for their own personal circumstances without removed bureaucrats placing arbitrary restrictions.

  4. So awesome! You know they had so much fun making that video. Good for them!

  5. If the government's going to feed America's kids, they have the right to choose WHAT to feed them.

    I go to high school, and I bring my own lunch. To me, the school lunch program is just a "public option." If we go with the public option, we play by the government's rules. I see no problem with that.

  6. If it worked that way, Chris, that would be fine. But many schools have banned homemade lunches and require the kids to eat the government-issued lunch to monitor the kids' eating and avoid unhealthy lunches from home. So those kids don't have an option. And many other schools that haven't banned homemade lunches now have lunch monitors that check everyone's lunch and either throw out anything over the calorie count or deemed unhealthy and/or replace the food in the lunch with school food that meets said requirements. When things are replaced, the parent then gets a bill. Kids have had turkey sandwiches replaced with chicken nuggets and the like. This is the source of much of the outrage. I never bought school lunches when I was in school, but nowadays my lunch could have been thrown out, reduced or replaced by a lunch monitor or banned all together.

    Another side issue -- Some parents rely on school lunches to provide the main meal of the day, because they cannot afford a lot of food at home. I never had that experience but, if that is a widespread problem, limiting lunch calories could be problematic there too.

  7. I hadn't heard that any schools were getting like that. That's some pretty scary stuff, so I guess I got lucky. However, in those cases, that's the individual school (or district) hurting people, not the federal law. I don't think it's a particularly smart law, but I don't really see any reason for outrage with the law itself.

    Your second point makes a lot of sense. However, keep in mind that it doesn't cost much money to get very high-calorie food. The issue is the kids not getting enough nutritious food at home (they're probably getting enough calories), which is what the law appears to be attempting to fix. Remember, there are still plenty of overweight kids from lower-income families.

    (removed comment is because I didn't see the no-reply rule)

  8. I realize that calories aren't everything, but they are important. I am a big fan of healthy, wholesome, nutritious food. If my kids' school offered a hot lunch, I would be picky about the types of food offered. But I wouldn't limit the calories so long as the selection was nutritious. I could see limiting dessert :). As it stands, my kids go to a private classical school, and we don't have hot lunches. So I pack them a healthy lunch every day. But that school is very respectful of the parents, and they never check lunches or attempt to control them. Such is the freedom of a private school. (They are on scholarship, by the way. We can't afford private!)

    I applaud schools that attempt to overhaul the food choices with healthy, tasty options. I have heard of schools that offer unlimited fresh salad bars and such, and they have had some good success, although the "unlimited" would be illegal now under federal law. But it is absurd to have a federal law limiting calories. It does nothing except penalize active and special-needs kids, encourage fast-food pit stops for cheap and filling options and, as you said, it doesn't necessarily make the food healthier. Calorie needs can be very individual, and the healthiness of the food is not necessarily related to calorie count.

    When federal government steps in to regulate from top down via something as arbitrary as calorie count, they cannot possibly take into account the current situations in the individual school systems across the country. Maybe it is a poorer school that hasn't figured out a way to implement costlier, healthier foods. Maybe they have lots of kids on assistance programs who depend on the free lunch as their biggest meal of the day. Maybe it's a high school with lots of active kids who need lots of calories, etc., etc., etc. When federal government steps into regulate, they create another piece of red tape for school systems that are already struggling, especially in the recent economy. So what happens? Kids get unhealthy food and not enough calories. Or they get healthy food, but still not enough calories. No doubt some kids are fine with the 850 calories and food options in their school, but we don't want a system that works for a few and not for the rest. It's absurd.

  9. Yeah, the biggest problem with the law is the limit on calories. I like the guidelines for healthier food, but judging everything by calories is foolish. It's trying to claim that one size fits all, in a case when it really doesn't. Still, there is a lot of freedom for implementation, which leads to smart schools having good lunches, and dumb schools having unhealthy, low-calorie food enforced by lunch Nazis.

    The only reason I spoke up is that "heavy-handed, freedom-killing food mandate" and "food police and nutrition nannies" are pretty big insults, and are an overly simple way of looking at a complex issue (then again, this law is an overly simple way of legislating a complex issue).

  10. I agree that the terms can sound a little over the top when it comes to discussing food lunches, but I think it mirrors our overall feelings of the direction of public schools. If the issue was just about school lunches, well, maybe the language would be a little strong :). A few things stick out to me, though. I live in a state that requires all parents of public school children to sign a form stating that we understand that anyone working in the school system can administer family planning counseling, family planning treatments and abortion to a child of any age without parental knowledge (ever) or consent. A child of any age can sign off on it for themselves. Technically, my kindergartner can sign off on family planning counseling, and no one has to ever tell me that they spoke with her about it.

    Second, New York just implemented a policy where kids ages 14 and older can be administered birth control, including injectibles, by the school without parental knowledge or consent. There is an opt-out form (thank God!), but a parent has to actively opt out. They don't ever have to give explicit consent, because consent is assumed. These are state issues, not federal. But can you see why parents across the nation are scratching their heads and getting a little outraged over all this intervention and these policies? We have schools throwing out turkey sandwiches because they don't meet some arbitrary guideline, schools that won't allow your child to carry Tylenol, but then these schools are administering powerful drugs with side effects or driving your child to get an abortion without your knowledge or counseling them on birth control at any age without parental consent or knowledge. They have so little respect for parents. When you put the entire picture together, it really does feel like a nanny state, where they are increasingly heavy-handed in their approach and assuming the role of parent. I personally don't care for our current public system as it is. They don't do a good job with education overall (undoubtedly with some exceptions), and now they want to do a bad job with the rest of our lives.

  11. Chris, but it is a mandate. And, if it's not "heavy-handed" and if there are no "food police" and if it's not "freedom-killing", then why did the teacher, the administration, the lunch ladies and the kids feel it was necessary to go to the lengths to make such a video?

    If they had the freedom and the leeway, then what gives? They are shown burning the law. Have you read the regulations to see if it's "heavy-handed" or not?

    Basically, the federal government should not be deciding what children can and cannot eat for lunch. I think the Founders would be stunned! This does not fall under "freedom" and "limited gov't". The government has no place being mommy and daddy to our children.

    What do you think of the principle of subsidiarity? It may be a better way to look at things:

    And this may sound strange in today's society where we are so used to be told what to do and regulated in our every move (lightbulbs, food, cars, etc.), but I care more about liberty than I do about kids being slender. I mean, I would love to have both (good eating habits AND liberty), but if I had to choose one as a priority, I would choose liberty every time.

  12. PS: Chris, I forgot to welcome you! And, please don't take my many questions as accusatory or mean, I was asking sincerely. :)

  13. Elizabeth, since I agree with almost everything you just said, I think we've come to a conclusion.

    Leila, we have a federal school lunch program, so what its money is used for is determined by the federal government. Perhaps you're saying that there should be no federal school lunch program, or that the feds should provide all the money without caring how it's applied. I hope it's not the latter, because I don't think throwing money at a problem is very effective.

    As long as there is a federal lunch program, obviously the feds make the rules. It's no different than making a rule that people can't buy McDonald's with food stamps.

    As for subsidiarity, I can say that my (charter) school's worst policies are the ones they make up themselves. I'm not sure they'd be any better if the state or feds micromanaged them. Probably they'd just be bad in a different way. In any case, I don't generally agree with the idea that more local control is always better. A more local authority might come up with much worse rules (in fact, this is reflected in Elizabeth's examples of schools throwing out kids' lunches, or states that demand that every teen have access to family planning counseling without parental knowledge). Thus, I don't think that the principle of subsidiarity has much to do with personal freedom. Wouldn't you be in favor of the federal government limiting local districts' ability to throw out students' lunches? I would.

  14. Also (skipped this question), I'll admit to not having read the regulations. I've seen a summary of what they entail, although I suppose that doesn't really let me know what it's like attempting to implement them, or whether doing so is feasible.

    Thanks for the welcome!

  15. You mean, would I prefer that the federal government safeguard my freedoms? Yes, I would, when it comes to inalienable rights. But should a community be able to set standards for itself, deciding what is best? Yes! Absolutely, as long as those rules do not infringe upon basic rights. See, the federal guidelines actually impede the community's ability to determine what is best for the students in the area. If locals don't like what the local community has set up, rules-wise, they can vote out the school board, etc. Not so easy for a community to stop the federal government when it imposes rules.

    Are you Catholic? Just curious.

  16. In other words, if it is a local community that wants to determine how the money is spent for lunches, that is fine with me (even if I think it's nuts, even if it's restrictive). If enough locals think it's nuts (since it's their families, their kids being affected), it's much easier to rid the community of such onerous regulations if so desired (local elections, local meetings, I could run for the school board, etc.) With federal mandates, the community loses all such power. Thus, "heavy-handed" truly applies when talking about this type of mandate.

  17. I see what you mean about a community's ability to choose its own leaders and rules, but I think the feds have every right to choose how their money is spent.

    Also, I'm not Catholic. I suppose that I can't be called religious, but I've recently developed a belief in God. I'm considering joining a religion, so I've been reading different blogs by people of different faiths, which is how I found you. I'm also a political liberal, although I don't agree with my side of the aisle on everything.

  18. Ha! That's funny!

    For those of you that might not know your Kansas geography, Wallace County, KS, shares a border with Colorado and is just south of Interstate I-75. That's all farmland out there. Those kids do more heavy lifting by 7 am than most city kids do all day.

    Who had the brilliant idea the farms kids and the city kids need the same calories? That's nuts!

    You burn at least 400 calories cow tipping! :-)

  19. StarFireKK, ha ha!

    Chris, who are the "feds", in your opinion, who are choosing how "their" money is spent (and whose money is it)?

    Great to hear you are a new believer! If you are looking into Christianity, I would start with C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. If you are looking for truth, you have to answer the question of who Jesus was (He claimed to be God Himself).

    Glad you are here!

  20. And, I'd love to know what brought you to a belief in God. :)

  21. I agree that allowing individual communities to make choices on issues like school lunches is preferable to having those rules imposed at the national level. Subsidiarity is almost always a good thing.

    But what else struck me -- and pleased me -- about the video is this. I'm so used to seeing reports and images of young people lauding Obama and naively buying into his rhetoric that it was refreshing to see the kids in this video mocking a program associated with Michelle Obama. Maybe it's a small sign that the harmful hypnosis of Hope and Change may be lessening its grip on our youth.

    On the other hand, when I heard the kids were from rural Kansas I realized that these are probably kids who largely never drank the Kool-aid. I imagine that's the kind of community where a preponderance of parents believe that they, the parents, bear primary responsibility for educating their children.

  22. Steve, you said that better than I could have! I had the same thoughts about those kids, and the same reaction when I learned where they were from.

  23. I don't agree with a federal law regulating the amount of calories intake but at the same time I don't like this video. I think it is a slap in the face to people that really are suffering for hunger.

  24. I see what you're getting at, that it's really *our* money being spent. But if we take the whole nation's money to use for a program, then the whole nation should have (representative) control of how it's used. It seems like you support federal funding that each community uses however it wants. If you want local control of lunch programs, that's a fine position. But I think that that position is only sensible if all the money comes from local taxpayers.

    From what I've heard, receiving the federal funding, which the mandates come with, is optional.

    I came to believe in God simply because I couldn't justify my beliefs in inherent morality and life having real meaning from an agnostic standpoint. I guess some people can justify it somehow, and others become more nihilistic, but neither works for me.

  25. Chris, yes, I can agree with your assessment. I'd prefer that all school lunches be brought down to a more local level, so I don't want the feds involved in that at all. It's really inefficient, cumbersome and wasteful to micromanage millions of kids' school lunch requirements, when each community (gosh, even each family) has very different ideas for that. I'm for as much freedom as possible from federal mandates and dictates. The Constitution is very clear in enumerating what powers belong to the federal government, and mandating nutrition and school lunches is not one of those. I think when the federal government sticks to the things it does best and is supposed to do (like securing the national interests and protecting us from our enemies on the world stage), then we are all good!

    I love what you said about coming to belief in God. That's impressive that you've gotten to that philosophical point at a young age! How old are you if you don't mind my asking?

    You might enjoy my interviews with former atheist Dr. Kevin Vost, if you have not already seen them:

  26. Chris, you are to be commended for your maturity and depth of thought. I'm impressed and thrilled. Like the kids in the video, you give me hope for the youth! :)

    For all, here is the Obama administration's response to the video and the complaints:

    Um, yes, Mr. Secretary of Agriculture, it is hard to please 32 million students in thousands of districts. Maybe that's the problem??


  27. First off, hello everyone. :)

    Leila and Elizabeth, can you give exact examples where local schools are denying children the right to bring their own lunch? Because if that is truly happening, then Leila, your point about localizing community decisions should be questioned, yes? When you give too much power to small, local areas, there is more opportunity for corruption (as in the example of schools not allowing sack lunches, if that is the case), when not many people know about what is happening on smaller level, it’s harder to fix the problem.

    There is a big issue with adolescent obesity in this country and I think Michelle Obama is doing a wonderful job at trying to help these kids to go in the right direction. It’s not about limiting athletes food, it’s about helping the kids learn about proper nutrition. It’s not about heavy handed, government limiting, food police. It’s about helping these kids eat more fruits and vegetables.

    I’m 33 years old, married and live in southern California. I’m also an athlete, a boxer, and with all of my training (twice a day, 6 days a week for at least 3 hours), I still only need to consume about 1800 calories. And most of those calories, come from fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats. The school lunches that you are saying our high schools need to back to, consisted of burgers, tater tots and high fat/high calorie fare. That is not what athletes SHOULD be eating, because it’s not healthy. If they need more calories, to supplement the 850 from lunch, a protein bar should do the trick, and they can bring those in to school with them.

    And let’s be honest Leila, is it really about the 850 calorie lunches, or is it because this idea and new mandate comes from democrats? If Ann Romney came up with this idea, I’m pretty sure you would be right on board with it. I think you are simply disagreeing about it, because you do not like ANY government involvement. Since, logically in terms of biology and nutrition, it makes sense to lower calorie content for kids. School athletes are the minority in this whole situation, and I think you are grossly over estimating how much food each child needs. You are choosing the biggest people in the group, football players and track and field, to support your arguments, yet they are not who the mandate was designed for. Those athletes already know how to take care of their bodies, right? So this mandate shouldn’t affect them.

    And again, just to end on this note, I would really love to see the names, cities, schools that deny a kids right to bring their own lunch. I live in Southern California and I have never ever heard about this. Maybe kids can’t bring in peanut butter, because of allergies of other students, but no food at all? Never heard it.

  28. Jennifer, hello and welcome! First, I will let Elizabeth answer the question about the denial of sack lunches, as that is something she brought up.

    You said:

    If Ann Romney came up with this idea, I’m pretty sure you would be right on board with it. I think you are simply disagreeing about it, because you do not like ANY government involvement.

    You may not have intended it, but these sentences contradict each other.

    But let me take them on separately. If Ann Romney came up with this idea, I would be completely opposed to it. I repeat: I would be completely opposed to it. I don't care who came up with the idea, it's nuts for the federal government to get involved in what kids eat! That is the job of the parents, and if you must, the local communities. But for the federal government to have a say in the portions and calorie counts of a child's meal? I am pretty sure that oversteps the federal government's powers.

    To the second sentence: I notice that you even put "ANY" in all caps. Are you referring simply to the micromanagement of school lunches? Then, yes, I am against any federal involvement in that. But if you are talking about federal involvement in "ANY"thing, then no. No conservative or Republican has ever said that, although that charge is leveled often, and I have no idea why. So, if you could clarify what you meant, I could better answer that.

    Help me understand why it would be harder for redress to occur at a local level than at the federal level? Isn't it easier for parents and locals to vote out bad school board members or crazy edicts than it would be for parents and locals to overturn a federal mandate or vote a president out of office? I have much more control over who is my school board member than who is the president of the United States, no?

    You're saying that "this mandate should not affect" athletes… but that is a curious statement, since they and the others are saying that it does. Who should I believe? The ones who are living under the mandate, or you who has the freedom to eat what you'd like, without government interference?

    I'm not being snarky, I'm asking. I really don't understand your perspective.


  29. I will have to dig up some of the examples. I have read articles, blogs, and also spoken to parents personally about their school systems, and this has been a problem in some school systems.

    We don't think that local communities make the right choices all the time. We aren't saying that local policies = always great policies. But a local community can better respond to a bad policy with community action. If the parents are in an uproar over their county's public school policies, they can fix the problem on a local level with local action. Local government representatives are elected too, so the local community has some sway. And it is easier to specifically address a problem unique to a community within that community. The federal policy is a problem in many ways and in different ways for different communities, and the entire country has to band together to change something that may work in one community and not in another. It is much harder to change federal laws than to change local policies.

    And parents often choose housing based on school systems. If a law is federal, it makes it harder for parents to just choose a house in a different county or state to get a "better system".

    Another advantage to localized school decisions -- More opportunity for school choice. This is also going to be unique to states and counties. For example, while I think the policies in my state regarding abortions, family planning counseling, and birth control are absolutely horrendous, I have other options on a local scale. My state is big on school choice. So I have been completely pushed out of the public schools between state and federal laws, but so far it has been easy to find alternatives. We have charter schools, excellent and affordable private schools with the Catholic schools here offering income-based tuition (which is free to the lowest income), and scholarships in non-Catholic private schools. The state actually offers money to homeschoolers to cover their costs as part of school choice. Our state even allows kids to go to a public school in a different district so long as there is space (and this is a common occurrence). So those are examples of great local policies. And it makes sense for the state to encourage homeschooling, because we spend almost more than any other state per student in our public schools with mediocre results in the public schools. The state saves money when people pull their kids out, so paying homeschoolers is a steal compared to educating them in the school system. (I still think we need to completely redo the public schools here, but at least we have options.)

    Anyway, every community is different. The options are different, the needs and wants of the parents are different. The local community can respond to bad policies on a local level with actions and behaviors. It is difficult for the federal government to see, on a local scale, how their policies may lead to kids leaving the public school systems if that option is available. And if the policy is bad, but the community doesn't have other options, it is hard for the federal government to see all the different negative effects on those communities. Subsidiarity allows a community to address bad policy without having to fight the entire federal government.

  30. Elizabeth, thank you, I could not agree more! My kids go to an amazing little Catholic school when they are in elementary school, and then a public charter school (classical, Great Books curriculum, no "pop culture", no sex ed, no social engineering) for junior high and high school. To say we have been pleased is an understatement. I wish I had had such an opportunity. We also have homeschooled for particular children and seasons of life. I thank God every day for the freedom we have here, and I don't take it for granted. It is so important to treat human beings as individuals, with individual gifts, strengths and needs, and not treat them like one more cog in the machine (which is so dehumanizing). Parents know their children better than the federal gov't does.

    Jennifer, there are many who hold your point of view, of course, so I hope you don't mind if I pick your brain for insights. First, what do you think of subsidiarity? Second, what do you believe to be the role of the federal government in citizens' lives?


  31. One of my biggest problems as a middle schooler and high schooler was always being hungry and tired. Always. I remember sleeping through an entire math course... like the entire year. Alot of it had to do with simply not getting enough calories and also quality food mostly b/c they only gave us 20 minutes to eat at like 10am with no opportunities to snack... my metabolism was super fast (still is), and to this day I can't go on that schedule. I genuinely feel bad for kids today with this new policy and totally believe they are hungry!

    The reason I was tired? Come to find out that teens' clocks really are different than everyone else's. They often need to sleep later and find going to bed at a "normal time" more difficult than adults or kids. It has never made sense to me that the itty bitty kids don't start their school day around here until 9am (when many are bright-eyed at 6am) whereas the teens have to get up at 5:30am to start school by 7am (when they've been wired until midnight). The best thing I ever did was leave high school a year early even though the guidance counselor pushed back so hard on that. I never want to send my kids to public school... don't get me wrong, there are some great teachers and staff in public schools, but my worst school years were by far the ones I spent in the government system (and we have some of the top-ranked public schools in the nation).

  32. Leila -- I love that classical education! Everyone always talks about how the classical private school around here is the best school by a landslide, and every space is always filled. The tuition is only 38% of the tuition paid by taxpayers per public school student. Makes me scratch my head a little that we only have one given the obvious success (and that the public schools keep clamoring for more money with clearly inferior results). Maybe that will improve in time.

    Same with charter schools. We have a Montessori charter school here, and the waiting list is extremely long. I know one family with five kids who finally got a child in after being on the list for ten years. Their fourth child will end up going there, and they homeschooled the rest. Again, it makes me scratch my head that we have a public charter school with a waiting list a mile long, and we don't have more of them to offer to parents with such high demand. So those are things that can improve on our local level, but every parent I know is creative with their options to give their child the best education. I am thankful we have that freedom as well.

    JenniferM, when I was a competitive runner in high school, I ate way more than 1,800 calories a day (probably 3,000 to 4,000). Like I said earlier, I was only 107 pounds. There is nothing wrong with your caloric intake, because it is clearly working for your body. But that's the issue here -- what works for one person, doesn't work for another. And teen athletes have different caloric needs than adult athletes. Even some adult athletes need 5,000 calories or more but, again, that doesn't apply to every athlete.

  33. Not directly related, but I wonder what your take on this is:

  34. Johanne, Andrew Sullivan rejects Catholic teaching, as do most of the writers at the Reporter. That said, I am wary of polls for any number of reasons. For this poll, I would want to know what "Catholic" means. I know people who identify as "Catholic" who not only have never darkened the door of a Catholic church in years, but who also openly despise the Church. I have a relative that claims Catholicism and puts up mocking, anti-Catholic memes on facebook. So…. "Catholics" in name only certainly might be voting for Obama (and there are millions and millions of non-practicing Catholics).

    As for what I think about it, I think that any Catholic who votes for Obama has to answer for God for such a vote. Obama is as anti-Catholic as any president has ever been, and not just in his mind, but in his policies. Again, it takes something pretty serious to have the US bishops (generally a mild, somewhat liberal bunch) to speak out in one voice against a sitting president's agenda.

    So, my answer to your question is best presented this way:

    1. As the good bishop says:

      I am not telling you which party or which candidates to vote for or against, but I am saying that you need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.

      So, I would caution those voters that their eternal souls are in jeopardy. Literally. This is scary stuff.

  35. Elizabeth, exactly!! Here in Phx, our group of schools is ever expanding (the Great Hearts schools). We open an new one all the time! They are doing so well, and changing the face of education in Arizona, and are a model for the nation. And (surprise) they get much less funding from the state per pupil (and no capital funds), and yet they are providing a seriously superior education. Go figure! :)

    There are four videos on the main page, short but worthy of watching!

  36. Wow, I wish we had Great Hearts in our area.

  37. This article goes well will the one Leila posted above about Catholics and voting. It has a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur.

  38. Ah, the videos won't load for me! I will have to try again tomorrow. I see that they have a future school in Flagstaff, though. I lived in Flagstaff for a year while I was studying geology and met my husband there, a geology graduate from NAU as well. I love Arizona. I will have to save this page in case we move in the future...and our new city needs charter school suggestions :).

  39. Polkadot, that was awesome, thank you! I will be using that!

    Elizabeth, keep trying, you'll love them! That is so cool that you went to NAU! And I know that lots of other states are eyeing the Great Hearts model. No tuition! Classical education! What could be better? :) Public school can be done right, if the massive, crushing bureaucracy and the NEA would move out of the way. I hate that our children have been sacrificed for so stinking long (and we can see the sad effects of that in the electorate).

  40. In response to JenniferM, I found some related news stories on banning homemade lunches and replacing food from home. Most of my experience is from personal comments from other parents who say, "This is what my school district does.." and comments on the above video where people talk about their own school district. But I did find some things that have made the news.

    The most reported ban: Chicago public schools allow banning lunches from home.

    Preschooler given school lunch (chicken nuggets) in place of "unhealthy" homemade lunch (turkey sandwich, chips, fruit, etc.) in NC:

    A second mother experiences the same thing in the same NC school:

    Some smaller-scale banning -- We see banning of nuts and nut products, chocolate milk, junk food, etc., but people are also entertaining banning things like milk and potatoes. This article points out an interesting issue -- The USDA has a conflict of interest when promoting food and regulating school lunches.

    Alexandria, VA, bans PB&J to meet requirements of recent federal law (not over allergies):

    On a related note, schools worldwide, including the U.S., are measuring BMI and creating BMI report cards:

    I am sure there is more out there, but these made mainstream news. Like I said earlier, examples of bad local policy does not justify federal intervention, nor does it show that federal intervention is more effective. I think federal intervention is worse and less effective when it comes to children's nutritional health. The local community, based on specifics to that community, should fight bad policy, and it is easier to undo that bad policy via local avenues than to undo bad federal policy. I just wanted to give you some examples of lunch issues, JenniferM, since you asked for them!

  41. And now there is a debate over tuna...

    And across the pond, some schools are banning pork. Interesting that schools in the UK are banning pork for religious reasons while some school systems here are overriding family religious beliefs with family planning and abortion policies.

  42. Elizabeth, thank you!! That is a heck of a lot of troubling evidence. And that last thing you said… wow, that is a very important point.

    I think the world is upside down.

  43. I do too, and it makes me tired and grumpy :). We are probably going to move in two years after my husband graduates from law school. After look at different possible cities and states in the western part of country for Catholic parishes and classical education options for the kids, I am really disheartened and frustrated. I have found some great ones, but it seems like the most likely destinations don't have what I want. I will just have to trust God, since I don't know the final destination yet. It makes all the public school nonsense even more frustrating -- that we have to work so hard to find worthwhile alternatives while helplessly watching an entrenched public school system fall into the abyss.

  44. Well, Phoenix has a powerhouse, courageous bishop who is also incredibly humble and holy, we have a vibrant, orthodox diocese with lots of vocations, and we have all the Great Hearts schools! Just sayin'….


  45. Arizona and Colorado seem to have a lot going for them! I may have to convince my husband to look further south. We are in the Pacific NW right now, but he has history with Arizona! ;)

  46. Saw this and it reminded me of this post:


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