Steffanie Rivers

While I admit that I have had thoughts where – if I ruled the world – some people would lose their civil liberties because, for various reasons, those people seem to be a waste of good skin, I never would actually express those thoughts for fear I would be looked at as the expendable one. Still it doesn’t seem to stop some people from trying to impose their will upon others. Take for instance the Chicago public school that has banned students from bringing homemade lunches because, according to the principal, cafeteria food is more nutritious.

Only students with special dietary needs are allowed to bring homemade meals to school at Little Village Academy. And that has lots of parents telling school administrators what they can do with that cafeteria-meals-only rule.

Of course cafeteria food is better than no food. But parents who take time to prepare homemade meals for their children’s lunches most likely have gotten the nutrition thing covered. If nutrition was not a priority for those parents, they probably would allow them to eat whatever was being served in the cafeteria and this all would be inconsequential.

This is nothing against parents who don’t prepare homemade lunches because some people don’t have the time, money or inclination for all that. The free or reduced school lunch program exists for that very reason. But if school officials are so concerned about nutrition they should consider banning expensive vending machines that supply sugary, fatty, filler foods and drinks that are partly to blame for America’s childhood obesity epidemic. And while we’re on the subject; they should take the kickbacks they get from those vending machine companies and fund more school fitness programs. So when children’s blood sugar levels are in overdrive they can have a nice place to run it off instead of bullying each other after school.

Little Village Academy sounds like a grade school haven, but in 2009 at least one hundred of the shooting victims in Chicago were teens.So unless I’m missing something, banning homemade lunches should be struck from the priority list to make room for more important goals.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Send questions, comments or requests for speaking
engagements to Steffanie at [email protected]. And see the video version of her journal at