Hear the audio version here (segments older than 3 weeks may be unavailable)
In an ongoing effort to bring you a glimpse of what life would be like if the conservatives disappeared and let liberals run the place, I present exhibit 1,494: the mandatory lunch.
At his public school, Little Village Academy on Chicago's West Side, students are not allowed to pack lunches from home. Unless they have a medical excuse, they must eat the food served in the cafeteria.
Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.
"Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school," Carmona said. "It's about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It's milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception."
Carmona said she created the policy six years ago after watching students bring "bottles of soda and flaming hot chips" on field trips for their lunch. Although she would not name any other schools that employ such practices, she said it was fairly common.
So common she can't think of another one. For the purposes of full disclosure, I must admit that I am one who looked forward to every day that I took my lunch to school. Being a teacher, I have grown to appreciate the tireless efforts of the cafeteria staff to make wonderful meals out of government processed food. But as a kid, when I knew Mom's PB&J with a little baggie of Doritos was waiting for me at lunch, it was a good day.
Now, of course, the Principal (as all good liberals) has the best of intentions. She wants kids to be healthy. But once again, we see the irresistible temptation for liberals to not just encourage what they see as appropriate, but to mandate it. And in the process, they relieve the object of their care of their freedom. Small example, systemic problem.
Of course, maybe what Little Village Academy is doing is better than another school in the area, Claremont Academy:
At Claremont Academy Elementary School on the South Side, officials allow packed lunches but confiscate any snacks loaded with sugar or salt.
How delightful. School storm troopers to run the Hannah Montana lunch pail through the x-ray scanners.
The story cited some others who seem to get it:
"This is such a fundamental infringement on parental responsibility," said J. Justin Wilson, a senior researcher at the Washington-based Center for Consumer Freedom, which is partially funded by the food industry.
"Would the school balk if the parent wanted to prepare a healthier meal?" Wilson said. "This is the perfect illustration of how the government's one-size-fits-all mandate on nutrition fails time and time again. Some parents may want to pack a gluten-free meal for a child, and others may have no problem with a child enjoying soda."
And that, of course, is what the liberal masters can't have. They know better than the parents. They know better than everyone. You will eat what they give you, and you will like it.
Loss of parental rights, loss of liberty, government infringement into yet another area of individual autonomy, and little Eric Sanchez denied his Lunchables. All in a day's work for the left.