Sunday, October 27, 2013

Feds Order School To Ban Packed Lunches Without Doctor’s Note...

A school in Richmond, Virginia is following federal government instructions by telling parents that they need to have a doctor’s note in order for their children to be allowed to bring packed lunches to school, another example of how the nanny state is encroaching via the public education system.

A letter featured on the website instructs parents that packed lunches must be accompanied with a physician’s note.

Dear Parents,

I have received word from Federal Programs Preschool pertaining to lunches from home. Parents are to be informed that students can only bring lunches from home if there is a medical condition requiring a specific diet, along with a physicians note to that regard.

I am sorry for any inconvenience. If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Stephanie [redacted] the Health Coordinator for Federal Programs Preschool at [redacted].

The letter also includes a handwritten note from a teacher which reads, “Ms Brooks, Please do not send a lunch to school unless a doctor’s note is sent in connection with this letter.” The identity of the school remains unknown, but it is situated in Richmond, Virginia.

The Federal Programs Preschool initiative is funded primarily by the Head Start Program, a Department of Health and Human Services scheme that provides education and nutritional support for children from low income families. Under Federal Programs Preschool, children are provided with breakfast, lunch and a snack.

While informing parents that they cannot make a decision on their own child’s diet, the same school promotes the fact that they sell ice cream during P.E. lessons every week. In a separate post, another parent describes how their child was upset because she was the only student not able to buy nachos and lemonade, which were also being sold during P.E. lessons right before lunch.

“So I suppose that sending a note that says “I choose to skip the GMO’s in the lunches you serve for a more balanced and safe diet as the parent of this child” doesn’t suffice?” writes Trisha Haas, adding that, “Homeschooling is looking better and better every day.”

If parents want to pack a healthy, non-GMO lunch for their own children, and not have their kids snacking on preservative-laden nachos and ice cream, they’re out of luck, because the federal government says so, unless parents go through the ludicrous hassle of obtaining a doctor’s note beforehand.

“So, now, at least one school wants children to have a doctor’s note to say no to the school lunch offerings of hormones, GMOs, preservatives, and grease. They must have the permission of a professional to avoid junk food. A parent’s good judgment is not sufficient, it seems, to make the healthy decision to provide a toxin-free lunch. Does anyone else see the irony here?” asks Daisy Luther.

This is not the only example of school lunches being banned. Chicago’s Little Village Academy public school mandates students eat at the cafeteria or go hungry. Only children with allergies and a doctor’s note are allowed to bring a packed lunch.

Many will see this as another form of creeping authoritarianism being introduced through the public education system, advancing the idea that the state and not parents have supreme authority over children.

It’s a concept also being promoted by the mass media. Earlier this year, MSNBC ran a segment pushing the notion that kids belong to the “collective,” and that the “idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families” should be eliminated.


Awesome Alternative to Campus Feminism

When looking at their course syllabi, young conservative women often find assignments that encourage them to challenge gender roles and unabashedly criticize the opposite sex. When searching for clubs to join on campus, they may find similar options — a host of feminist groups spewing a “women rule the world/men are the enemy” message. One organization, however, is continuing to provide female students with a conservative alternative.

For almost a decade now, the Network of Enlightened Women has been working to ignite a conversation on feminism and conservatism on college campuses which challenges the often misguided messages of college feminist groups. NeW celebrates its ninth anniversary this month.

Karin Agness, the organization’s founder, reflected on NeW’s progress,

    “Ten years ago, when a woman stepped on campus she found chapters of the National Organization for Women, Women's Studies departments and Women's Centers not open to supporting all women. That is partly why we founded the Network of enlightened Women, known as NeW, to serve as an alternative to campus feminism and provide a home for conservative women on campus.”

To celebrate NeW’s milestone, the organization released a video entitled “Join the NeW Movement!”


'Cram' classes in Australia are mostly "ethnic"

It's 9.53pm on a Monday, and inside a fluorescent-lit office in Glen Waverley 16 tired teenagers are shuffling papers, punching at calculators and wolfing down warm pizza.

They have been here since 7.30, sitting on folding chairs at white plastic picnic tables, listening to their teacher, Kevin Xiao, 28, as he dissects the mathematical methods exam they will face in less than a fortnight.

They listen in part because they clearly adore the exuberant Mr Xiao, the founder of this private tutoring college.

But also because of the only adornment on the walls at Breakthrough Education: laminated posters selling a narrative of success. "11 perfect ATARs in 4 years"; "Median ATAR of 97.65"; "1 in 7 graduates scoring 99+".

The students have come in search of those promised scores, paying $45 a class every Monday night since July to try to dominate the written VCE exam period that begins next week.

"Grab a slice, grab a seat, grab a Coke and let's get cracking," Mr Xiao says, launching into an explanation of another unfathomable problem. "Ten is to H, as 2 is to R, so what does that mean?"

Welcome to the expanding world of "shadow education". In 2005 there were 24,000 people working as full-time tutors in Australia. There are now more than 36,000, and demand continues to grow, particularly in "cram schools" such as this one, which caters to 250 students here and in Balwyn and Box Hill.

Mohan Dhall, of the Australian Tutoring Association, said such instruction was found anywhere that "transfer tests" existed, whether for perfect VCE scores or entry into selective schools.

Tutoring was once mainly a remedial tool to give struggling students a hand up, but increasingly parents trying to give dominant students a head start.

Bareetu Aba-Bulga, 18, sits somewhere in the middle. Of Oromian (Ethiopian) descent, she goes to Huntingtower School, Mount Waverley, studies Indonesian and wants to be an accountant. "It's my dream to empower the women of Indonesia through business," she says.

But she struggles with numbers. Group tutoring has helped, although going to school after school is a challenge.  "It's OK for the first hour, but then we hit 8.30 and I start to fall asleep sometimes," she said, laughing. "Maths isn't always exciting."

Students from St Albans and Werribee, Caulfield Grammar and Melbourne Grammar, and even Mac.Robertson Girls High School and Melbourne High School augment their education here.

Janet McCutcheon, assistant principal at Mac.Rob, said tuition had its place, provided children and parents did not think of it as the only way.  "We don't want them being overloaded," she said.


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