It is vital to always see the big picture. One can get lost in the details and succumb to the easy thinking that the details are not connected to the larger picture. Something about seeing the trees in the forest or whatever. Yet, of course, the details are vital. One cannot grasp the scope and depth of the big picture unless one masters the details.
The details and the big picture now are emerging regarding our government’s use of a health issue—child obesity—to sideline, diminish, traduce and marginalize parents. I cite a few articles to support my assertion. I find these articles persuasive in argument and in presenting both details and the larger picture. If you disagree, please comment.
Several ironies arise. Schools publicly and politically argue that they want more parental involvement. Then the schools actually act to diminish parental involvement. Few actions by schools can be more pernicious and more illuminating of a larger anti parent agenda than that enacted by a school in the Chicago public school system, if the articles are correct, which prohibits parents from giving lunches to their children.
See: Feeding the Nanny-State, Scott Mayer, January 26, 2012 regarding school lunches
If enough parents aren’t happy with what’s on the menu (which they can read) they’ll either complain to the school (a local issue) in order to force changes, or hit the school in the pocketbook by packing their kids lunches on their own. That is unless their kids go to one Chicago school where even that is no longer allowed because parents aren’t to be trusted with making their own kids lunches. Forget about metal detectors, this school is more worried about having ‘food detectors’ to make sure no one is packin’-lunch.
The issue of whether the children like or will eat the government dictated lunch content is an important but secondary issue.
Sounds delectable in theory. But in practice, the initiative has been what L.A. Unified’s food-services director Dennis Barrett plainly concludes is a “disaster.” While the Obama administration has showered the nation’s second-largest school district with nutrition awards, thousands of students voted with their upset tummies and abandoned the program. A forbidden-food black market — stoked not just by students, but also by teachers — is now thriving. Moreover, “principals report massive waste, with unopened milk cartons and uneaten entrees being thrown away.”
This despite a massive increase in spending on nutritional improvements — from $2 million to $20 million alone over the last five years on fresh produce.
Of course, the reality is that many parents do not mind giving up their authority. Many parents do not mind abandoning fundamental parenting duties and allowing the state to do theses duties for them. Many parents do not care about parenting. Many parents are willing to trade parenting duties for a less responsible approach to parenting.
An increasing number of parents pay no money and pay no price for the government largesse. It’s all gain and no pain. And, most significantly, the government grows; more workers; more contractors; more businesses relying on government purchases; more administrators at many bureaucracies. Thus, obesity becomes a device to enrich the government and its dependents. Obesity might be bad for your child but it’s the perfect lunch for the state.