Intercepts

A listening post monitoring public education and teachers’ unions.

Beating Kids With a Breakfast Club

Written By: Mike Antonucci   – May• 26•15

The Los Angeles Daily News ran an edifying story on what happens when government gets a worthy idea – feeding breakfast to poor and hungry schoolchildren – and puts it into practice.

1) School receives federal money to provide breakfast to students who live under the poverty line.

2) Participation is low.

3) School provides breakfast to all students, regardless of parental income, “as a means of protecting low-income students from being ostracized by their peers or feeling embarrassed.”

4) Participation is low because students can’t get to school early enough.

5) School provides mid-morning snack during recess.

6) Participation is low because students prefer to play rather than eat during recess.

7) School brings breakfast on trays into classroom, thus ensuring every child gets a meal without having to alter his or her day.

8) About 20 percent of trays are returned untouched. “I know in our class there’s six kids taking it out of 40, and one kid just wants the apple, so they throw away everything else,” said one parent. Students are required to accept the entire tray because of nutrition rules.

9) “The program has been opposed by the teachers union, which urged the district to let local campuses choose to opt out. LAUSD does not allow that option, and most campuses districtwide participate.” The union says custodial staffing doesn’t allow the classrooms to be cleaned often enough to take care of the breakfast mess.

10) A new school board member suggested schools serve bagged breakfasts, allowing students to simply pick up a meal and bring it to the classroom, but other school officials claim this leaves a mess all over campus. Besides, this method lowers participation rates.

How many steps away from mandatory feeding tubes are we?

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One Comment

  1. darrel says:

    Thanks for this blog. As a child from the NYC public school system of the 70s-80s, I found your information to be accurate of what is affecting children today. In my time, public school breakfasts, lunches and summer time snacks were nutritious and seemed to readily available to all students. It seemed as though it was never about the politics of feeding children, just feeding them and providing the best education to young minds as possible. Now, with state government officials, federal agencies and teachers’ unions, the fierce battle of educating and feeding our children is inextricably intertwined with politics. Will there be a positive outcome to all of this?