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Destroying Minds, Destroying Bodies


In a classically statist move, a Chicago public school has banned lunches brought from home. The Principal of the school, Elsa Carmona, has declared that her students must eat the food served in the cafeteria because she wants to “protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.”  There may be a more nefarious reason behind this uncommon concern for the health of public school children (physical, mental or social), but if we take her at her word, then this is yet another example of government officials thinking that they need to protect us stupid citizens (and our stupid kids) from ourselves.

As I have pointed out numerous times in the past, the public school system, in spite of all its high-salaried education specialists, continually fails to effectively educate our kids.  There is clearly something wrong with the system when their college educated certified teachers cannot produce better results than homeschool parents who did not graduate from high school.  Yet public school advocates often sneer at the mere mention of parents educating their own children, stating time and again that it is arrogance for those parents to assume that they can do a better job than trained teachers.  The logical corollary to that statement is that they think parents are too stupid to realize that they cannot effectively teach their children.  That may be why they continue to try to get legislators to make laws prohibiting uncertified parents from teaching their own kids.

Because the public schools think parents are too stupid to educate their kids, it should come as little surprise that they also think parents are too stupid to feed their kids as well.  The arrogance of these public employees is all the more remarkable when there is ample evidence (if anyone cared to look) that public school lunches are unhealthy and deleterious to kids’ health.  A Chicago Public School teacher was so concerned that she started a blog to protest the low quality of the city’s school lunches. Likewise, Jamie Oliver, a celebrity chef who crusades for healthier food in school has documented well his difficulty in getting public schools to admit that they are essentially poisoning students.  Most recently Los Angeles Unified School District preemptively banned him from entering their schools.  It appears that they were not interested in finding out just how terrible their cafeteria food is.  Perhaps there really is something more nefarious going on here?

Do these public officials really care about our kids?  Are they really protecting kids from their stupid parents?  Well, going back to Chicago I would have to say no.  According to a 2004 study, 39 percent of Chicago Public School teachers sent their own kids to private schools (compared to about 10 percent of the overall population).  Why would the same people who often oppose homeschooling (and school choice programs) not send their own kids to the schools that they teach at?  Likewise, although 97% of Democrats in the House of Representatives voted against a popular voucher program in 2007, 37% sent their kids to private schools.  Apparently school choice is good for them, just not for the stupid citizenry.*  It is no leap of faith to assume that a considerable segment of the anti-homeschooling, anti-choice faction holds that position precisely because they benefit and profit from the status quo.

When it comes to the quality of food in schools, it is not unreasonable to question if similar factors are at play.  Why does the public school system push high saturated fat, meat heavy, genetically modified, processed, canned, corn-based foods on our children if they are so concerned about the health of our children?  Could there possibly be people who are getting rich off of the system?   The answer is yes. When a Chicago parent is prohibited from sending their kid to school with a lunch pail, they are forced to pay $2.25 to keep their child from going hungry. Most of that money, as well as that of the government subsidized free and reduced lunches of poorer families, goes into the pockets of the district’s food provider, Chartwells-Thompson.  I wonder if anyone is going to investigate the relationship between the principal/school district and the representatives of Chartwells-Thompson?

Public school advocates as a whole do not care about our children’s education or their health.  They are willing to destroy our children’s minds and bodies in order to enrich and strengthen various special interests.  On a more positive note, the Chicago public school in question is not entirely tyrannical – they will allow parents to prepare lunches for their children … if they get a doctor’s note!


* Republicans are not that much better when it comes to education freedom.  They are stronger supporters of vouchers but at the same time, they still want to control what is being taught in schools and they still want to funnel money to their preferred corporate education special interests. With regard to the DC voucher program, on March 31, 2011, the house voted to reauthorize and expand the program.  Of 187 voting Democrats, only one voted for the program.


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2 Responses to " Destroying Minds, Destroying Bodies "

  1. YeSun Wiltse says:

    If anybody takes the time to think logically, the public education systems’ number one priority is a job program for teachers and administrators. Second (though not far behind job security program for school employees) is indoctrination of future generations. Educating children as priority I am guessing is probably at the bottom of the list, if at all.

    • Antonio Buehler says:

      Organizations are always most interested in self-preservation. Even if that self-preservation runs counter to their claimed objectives. As you rightly note, the public education system is far more interested in employing teachers and administrators, funneling money to special interests, using the government to protect their monopoly status, and indoctrinate children to support the state. Fortunately for homeschooling families, parents don’t have those other interests coming before the welfare of their children.

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