Let Them Eat Cake!

It takes a special type of chutzpah to tell an entire community what their children should not be allowed to eat in a classroom. Enter Ms. Valerie Bailey. This self-important parent and PTA committee member helped craft a new “wellness” policy for her child’s elementary school that bans all food treats at school. That’s right boys and girls. It’s your birthday, but mommy or daddy isn’t allowed to bring a special sweet treat to your classroom to celebrate because Ms. Bailey believes that well, American children are just too fat.

Let’s be clear, the federal government isn’t banning little Johnny’s birthday cake. Nope, just this handful of narcissistic parents in the little town of Burlington, Ohio who, with a just a stroke of a pen, have ended one the longest standing traditions held by most cultures throughout the world–that is celebrating with food.

Bailey not only finds these soirees of corn-syrup swilling, white-flour confections unhealthy, she’s plumb worn out by them. “Birthday parties are taking up too much class time,” Bailey is quoted as saying. “Students would bring in large packs of cupcakes, or other sweets that took lots of time to pass out and clean up.Sometimes there would be three such celebrations a day.”

This isn’t about cake. It’s about small minded meddlers hiding behind institutions to infringe on individuals’ basic rights by seeking to impose their own beliefs on how best to celebrate. And according to policy that Ms. Bailey helped to craft, examples of appropriate treats would be pencils, erasers, and bookmarks. Yawn.

What I find most appalling about Ms. Bailey and others of her elk is that they hold up flimsy excuses for their need to control others, usually citing safety, health, or some other feel-good banner they can hide behind. “It’s not up to us to tell parents what to do,” Bailey said. “But when children are in our care we make sure that nothing gets in the way of them and their learning. Food allergies or too much sugar get in the way of that.”

This isn’t about food allergies or learning and I, for one, Ms. Bailey, find your reasoning vapid. Parents control what their children eat. A little sweet treat did not a fatty make. Self-regulating behaviors are taught in the home and your time could be better spent crafting a policy that fosters self-control and self-discipline rather than banning sweets. Let them eat cake!