Who Will Train the Twinkie-Sniffing Dogs?

The St. Paul, Minnesota, school district is banning "sweet, sticky, fat-laden [and] salty treats" from all of its schools. According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Star-Tribune, the new policy covers food served in cafeterias, food sold in vending machines or at fundraisers, food kept in employees' drawers as rewards for themselves or students, and even food that parents send to school for their children's lunches, which evidently will be subject to searches for contraband snacks and desserts. Food control officials will have to decide thorny issues such as whether an orange counts as a sweet and sticky treat, how much sodium chloride renders a snack "salty," and whether cheese should be banned because of its high fat content or welcomed for its protein and calcium.

How do school officials justify this astonishingly arrogant attempt to interfere with parents' decisions concerning their children's diets? "It's very basic," says Ann Hoxie, the school district's assistant director for student health and wellness. "Healthier kids are better learners." Jill Gebeke, principal at Chelsea Heights Elementary School, explains that "we have these kids for 6½ hours a day," and "we want to put this message front and center."

Evidently the message is that children's bodies are a collective resource that needs to be managed by agents of the state for their own good and the good of society, regardless of what they or their parents think. A fifth-grader at Gebeke's school displays the sort of counterproductive mentality that the school district is determined to stamp out:

"All my friends say, 'This really sucks,'" said Misky Salad, a 10-year-old fifth-grader at Chelsea Heights Elementary. "A lot of us feel it should be up to us to determine what we should do with our bodies."

[Thanks to Mark Lambert for the tip.]

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Stephen Hawking||

    "Healthier kids are better learners."

    I don't think so.

  • Sen. Charles "Mary" Schumer||

    You're obviously not the real Stephen Hawking, who was a normal, healthy child. Stupid joke handles. There oughta be a law!

  • prolefeed||

    Hawkings was a mediocre, unmotivated researcher until his body became severely crippled and forced him to spend all his time on intellectual pursuits.

  • BakedPenguin||

    "A lot of us feel it should be up to us to determine what we should do with our bodies."

    Not until you get an abortion, young lady!

  • jacob||

    That response, from a 10-yr-old, seems awfully coached.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Or perhaps not necessarily coached, but memorized from constant repetition from an adult close to her.

  • Bradley ||

    Those astroturfing Koch teabaggers are everywhere.

  • Ray Pew||

    Deep down I yearn for a scenario where these kinds of decisions are imposed more and more frequently at public schools causing people to seriously consider private education, but my pessimistic side tells me that all they will do is moan and bitch and eventually fall in line.

  • ||

    Deep down I yearn for a scenario where these kinds of decisions are imposed more frequently at public schools causing people to rise up and beat these morons to death with baseball bats.

  • ||

    "All my friends say, 'This really sucks,'" said Misky Salad, a 10-year-old fifth-grader at Chelsea Heights Elementary. "A lot of us feel it should be up to us to determine what we should do with our bodies."

    Maybe we should build public school around the idea that kids need to learn that government overreach sucks. That's certainly what I learned from my public school experiences.

  • Senator Al Franken||

    I had no idea this regulation business was so fun and exciting! Please tell me more about these "private" schools you speak of.

  • The Gobbler||

    "According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Star-Tribune"

    It's StarTribune.

  • Invisible Finger||

    "Healthier kids are better learners."

    I would like to see the 10 studies that proved this assertion.

    I assume Ann Hoxie is one unhealthy bitch. They're passing off a school nurse administrator as some sort of scientific expert when all she is is a bureaucrat.

  • Robert||

    "Healthier kids are better learners."

    I would like to see the 10 studies that proved this assertion.


    I'm sure it can be gathered from observation of children afflicted with cretinism, wasting conditions, significant septal defects of the heart, chronic malaria, you know.

  • sr7||

    Jesus Christ, there are too many retarded people fucking whose progeny later obtain power.

  • Deman Llama||

    I read the original story, which mentions briefly that many of the students are poor and minority. I'm just wondering if any of the brilliant administrators have considered the cost factor when choosing healthier foods and snacks. Did anyone think about the relative cost of a box of generic, store-brand chocolate chip cookies, compared to the cost of 1-pound bag of apples? Or the cost comparison between healthy, low-sodium meals and a 36-count box of processed, sodium-rich, microwave chicken nuggets? Or the fact that a lot of poor, minority kids are preparing thei rown lunches (those who brown bag it, at least) because of absetee parents. Who's going to cover the gap? Government subsidies for school meals at taxpayer expense, I'm sure.

  • Ska||

    Who said apples are healthy? Sweet and potentially sticky = bad!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yeah, if they can't figure out that oranges and nuts are good for you, there's no telling what these idiots will ban.

  • prolefeed||

    Sweet and potentially sticky = bad!

    That sounds like a description of purt near all my relationships with women.

  • Ted S.||

    If they really cared about the poor minorities, they do whatever they could to get large stores like Wal-Marts opened in minority areas to offer cheap foood options to the poor.

  • In Time Of War||

    Fine, we'll give it two (2) years. If at the end of two (2) years student performance has not improved significantly, this policy will be abandoned and everyone involved will be fired and banned from "public service" for the rest of their lives.
    I'm all about solutions.

  • Matrix||

    They'll find something else to scapegoat when it proves nothing is improving, or kids are getting more rebellious because they are not getting their yummy snacks.

  • db||

    This would be a perfect project for the school science fair. Take the hint, kids...

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Over the course of this year I have become convinced that by the time I die this country will in no shape, form, or fashion, be familiar to me at all.

  • ||

    They were doing the same thing in my school when I was a kid. They had "snack time," but you couldn't eat anything that wasn't in the "healthy/nutritious" category, loosely defined as anything that didn't come in its own wrapper or that had a lot of sugar. Fruit, crackers, pretzels were ok, twinkies, cookies, cake were not.

    This story is just deja vu.

  • Stage 5 vegetarian||

    Except now Fruit, crackers, and pretzels are questionable.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    However, unflavored rice cakes are A-OK. And how the kids love them!

  • Contrarian P||

    Despite their ridiculously high glycemic index...they dump a large glucose load into the blood stream.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Behold the modern "public servant."

  • Tim||

    Everybody gets one kilo per week of brown rice and 300 grams of dried meat.

  • Tim||

    * and by dried meat I mean dead roaches.

  • ||

    radroach meat?

  • Ska||

    Better have some punga fruit or radaway on hand.

  • Matrix||

    too bad Nuka Cola was banned! Grr!

  • Ska||

    Anyone get the new FO:NV DLC? I'm contemplating it. I just bought the Vietnam expansion for BC2 and that should hold me over, but good FO DLC is always worth looking at.

  • ||

    Not yet...

  • ||

    FO:NV is a stand-alone, not a DLC.

    But yeah, I have it and it's better than FO:3. Just got the grenade machine-gun but I can't find the ammo for it, damn it!

  • Ska||

    I have FO:NV. They released DLC for it today. I don't know the name. I know it raises the level cap to 35, adds some new higher level perks, has some additional locations, new armors, and new weapons, including the bear trip fist.

    That's right - an unarmed fist weapon consisting of a bear trap you wear on your hand.

  • ||

    Still waiting for the ign review to show up.

  • Lord Jubjub||

    Naw, just hand them the several different episodes of The Simpsons. Springfield Elementary has them all beat.

  • mr simple||

    "But I always drink plenty of ... malk? Now with vitamin R"

  • NoVAHockey||

    Are you saying you killed Jimbo, processed his carcass and served him for lunch?

  • AlmightyJB||

    NEA begins the indoctrination, DNC completes it. Didn't warrentless searches begin in schools?

  • ||

    Put another check inthe "pro home school" column.

  • Ska||

    This is one of those things that I think most parents will find as going over the line. I know there's a lot of cynicism at H&R (not completely unwarranted either), but I just get the feeling that this one is so past WTF that parents will push back.

    *nips at flask of bourbon*

  • Brett L||

    Unlike, say, having the principal search your 12yo daughter's underwear because she's in possession of illicit ibuprofen.

  • Ska||

    The difference there is that "well, it's not my kid" could explain other parents' apathy. When it's every kid, and every parent, there's a chance.

    A slim, Lloyd Christmas idea of a chance, but a chance.

  • Brett L||

    I wish you well in your optimist world.

  • Ska||

    It's one way to stave off the madness.

  • Ratched||

    You don't get to self-diagnose.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    hahahahahaha, no they won't.

  • NoVAHockey||

    schools provide "free" child care. Parents will put up with quite a bit before opting out of that.

  • ||

    Hours and hours of it, at that.

  • ||

    How, exactly, will they push back?

  • ¢||

    A fifth-grader at Gebeke's school displays the sort of counterproductive mentality that the school district is determined to stamp out:

    You missed the part where...it?..lied to the reporter—as is every decent person's inalterable moral duty.

    "Misky Salad" is a good kid, if it exists.

  • ||

    Let's get it over with already: don't take the snacks away from the kids, take the kids away from the parents who supply the snacks, right? They're the ones who are too stupid and/or irresponsible to decide what their kids should eat for lunch. If they can't decide that, why are they permitted to decide what the kids should eat for breakfast and dinner? Better to put all the kids into a nurturing government-controlled environment where they won't be abused through pastries and salt. Now, don't get me wrong -- I am not advocating complete parent/child separation here. The biological parents should have some limited visitation rights. I mean, we don't want to be cruel. We just want what is best for the children.

  • Ska||

    I assume teachers can no longer eat chocolate, jelly beans, potato chips, put sugar or cream in their coffee, etc. etc.

  • ||

    Sometimes these stories actually give me hope for the future. Our overreaching nannystate is actually creating a new generation of liberty-conscious citizens. One can hope...

  • Matrix||

    Yet, the UK is 10 times worse on their best day than we are on our worst... and no uprisings there over the nanny state.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    The brits are fundamentally different people. All the freedom loving brits came to the US and then told the UK to shove it.

  • Warty||

    Since nicotine is one of the few chemicals that causes weight loss, shouldn't we be forcing fat kids to dip? There otta be a law.

  • Brett L||

    Here, kid, have a bump of this meth. You'll eat less and be more focussed in 3rd period.

  • Cecil||

    Here, kid, have a bump of this Ritalin. You'll eat less and be more focussed in 3rd period. Oh, wait, they already do that.

  • Old Mexican||

    [...]and even food that parents send to school for their children's lunches, which evidently will be subject to searches for contraband snacks and desserts.

    I smell a black market opportunity here! High PROFITS! All thanks to the St. Paul, Minnesota, school district's do-goodism.

  • Old Mexican||

    Evidently[,] the message is that children's bodies are a collective resource that needs to be managed by agents of the state for their own good and the good of society, regardless of what they or their parents think.




    Whoa! You mean the term "COMPULSORY education" did not provide you with a prima facie hint all this fucking time??????

  • ||

    So the kid they interviewed was named "Salad".

    You sure this isn't from The Onion?

  • IceTrey||

    What they do with cafeteria food, vending machines and fundraisers on school property are one thing, confiscating foodstuffs the kids bring from home is an entirely different matter. Since school employees are state actors this is a clear 4th amendment violation.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: IceTrey,

    confiscating foodstuffs the kids bring from home is an entirely different matter. Since school employees are state actors this is a clear 4th amendment violation.

    It also would constitute racketeering, as confiscation of the food would have to lead to kids having to purchase cafeteria food.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Silly, the constitution only applies to adults who aren't "at risk".

  • Robert||

    I don't think it counts as a seizure if they let the kid have it back when they leave.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Gorgeous Weim in the picture.

    And I agree with Brett L, if strip-searching a 12 yr old girl for Advil isn't going start a pitchfork and torches riot, this won't do it either.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Gray Ghost,

    Unfortunately, both you and Brett L are right, and for a simple reason: Public Schools are actually and nothing more than tax-paid Day Care centers; parents who prefer the convenience of dumping their unwanted offspring into that awful trap will not have any incentive to rock the boat - it's not like everybody has the wherewithal (financial or intellectual or both) to homeschool their offspring.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Not that I don't understand the sentiment here but seriously, as a libertarian I DO have faith that parents (on the whole) will do what is best for their children. It is not just the tax funded day care incentive at work here...they don't rock the boat because they think this is a good idea and THAT is the real problem. I have not doubt that if the parents actually thought it was a bad idea they would revolt.

    Optimism sucks but it is required for libertarianism.

  • jacob||

    +10000

  • John-David||

    Holy shit.

    http://chelsea.spps.org/Principal.html

    From the above link:

    Part of our school's Discipline Policy is to reward children who demonstrate good behavior. Each month during the Awards Assemblies, names are drawn for a variety of prizes. Two students names are drawn at each assembly to have 'Pizza with the Principal'. The photo gallery below shows winners celebrating with Ms. Gebeke.

    Mixed messages, anyone?

  • John-David||

    BTW, I'm pretty sure she is the sexless troll in the center of this picture.

    http://chelsea.spps.org/sites/.....10_083.jpg

  • Old Mexican||

    Ugh... OMG...

    I will have to go here to remind myself once again of what a woman looks like:

    http://guanabee.com/gallery/da.....lmajo_2/#t

  • Pip||

    NSFW!!!

  • Jeffersonian||

    God, what I wouldn't do to get out of that. What's second prize, two pizza lunches with Ms. Gebeke?

  • Brave New World||

    The obesity started once they began pumping Ritalin into the kids. How are the kids supposed to play 60 minutes a day when they're doped into passivity?

  • ||

    Kids aren't supposed to play. Playing leads to inquisitiveness, which then leads to the questioning of authority. Now sit down, shut up, take your Ritalin, and hand over the Twinkie.

  • Zeb||

    Ritalin is a stimulant.

  • Old Mexican||

    "It's very basic," says Ann Hoxie, the school district's assistant director for student health and wellness. "Healthier kids are better learners."

    Maybe the kids should eat the teachers instead...

  • Sicko||

    I'm sure some teachers will try to eat the Minsky Salad.

  • Erisian||

    This is a definite candidate for "Nanny of the Month"!

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Who Will Train the Twinkie-Sniffing Dogs?

    Isn't that pretty much just a normal dog?

  • BakedPenguin||

    If I was a parent in Minneapolis, I'd drink a can of 4Loko, rinse it out, fill it with skim milk, and send my kid to school with it.

    Then wait for the phone call.

  • Thom||

    If you were a parent in Minneapolis, you could laugh at the stupid Shelbyvillians across the river that are the ones doing this shit.

  • IceTrey||

    ...I'd POUR OUT a can of 4Loko... Fixed.

  • ||

    """All my friends say, 'This really sucks,'" said Misky Salad, a 10-year-old fifth-grader at Chelsea Heights Elementary. "A lot of us feel it should be up to us to determine what we should do with our bodies."""

    Authority is not smarter than a fifth grader.

  • Paul||

    Salad, probably pronounced "sahlahd" with the accent on the second syllable. They're picking on the muslims again.

  • ||

    That made me wonder, too. I also noted the administrator's name: "Ann Hoxie" [="A Hoax", perhaps] and the principal's: "Jill Gebeke" [="gullible"].

    Not saying it is a hoax, but this smells worse than the gym suit that has been in the bottom of the locker since that rainy day in September.

  • ||

    Sorry, that was supposed to be a reply to:


    Timon19|12.22.10 @ 3:41PM|#
    So the kid they interviewed was named "Salad".

    You sure this isn't from The Onion?
  • Anon Guy||

    I googled some of the names and there doesn't appear to be any evidence that this is a hoax.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement