Little Debbie on the Run in St. Paul With Pet Devil Dog

In St. Paul, Little Debbie is a wanted woman:

With a nod to their role in reducing the nation's high obesity rate, Minnesota's second-largest school district plans to fully enforce the ban on sweets.

Reminders have been sent to teachers, students and parents that "sweet, sticky, fat-laden [and] salty treats" aren't allowed during the school day, said Jean Ronnei, the district's director of nutrition services.

Amy Alkon points to this mommyblog post on the new rules, which defends bans on sweets:

But schools have dress codes and I don’t think keeping cupcakes and Doritos out of lunches — for health reasons! — is any worse than requiring students to wear closed-toe shoes (for safety!)....this sweets ban isn’t in service of someone’s power trip or some kind of skirt-length morality measure. It’s about health...

The parallel seems to be self-defeating. Dress codes are a perfect example of slippage between safety rules and restrictions on moral or aesthetic grounds. Closed-toe shoes make sense in a science lab, but skirt lengths and hair-touching-the-collar rules are about something else entirely. Is a total ban on Ho-Hos packed by mom for a skinny kid more like the former or the latter?

And here's is the sentence that shows up in every (honest) piece on this kind of ban:

The ban, which also includes fat- and salt-laden snack foods, isn’t expected to dramatically lower the districts 40 percent obesity rate.

Taking snack cakes from the hands of tiny children is not actually going to make them better off. It's going to make them resent authority figures at school, doubt authority figures at home, and deprive them of small pleasures in the middle of a day at a school where they have already lost swings, tag, plastic pistols, and even cough drops.

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  • Tim||

    Some of these waifs may grow up to be Libertarians.

  • Mango Punch||

    Taking snack cakes from the hands of tiny children is not actually going to make them better off. It's going to make them resent authority figures...


    Bring on the bans!!!!
  • Mango Punch||

    blockquote fail

  • Yonemoto||

    "deprive them of small pleasures in the middle of a day at a school where they have already lost swings, tag, plastic pistols, and even cough drops."

    Also a good description of libertarian childhood trauma.

  • Mango Punch||

    Cough drops = lots of fun!!!!!!!!

  • ||

    I don't understand how the fucking school can tell a parent what they can pack in a lunch for their own kid. Am I missing something here?

  • ||

    Yeah, you are missing that these people don't think anyone but them has any authority or autonomy over their lives.

    Public schools need to die. The only solution to this shit is 100% privatization and vouchers. That way, you can just pull your kids out of the school and be away from these people because you are never going to reason with people this stupid. Oh and anyone with an ED degree needs to be banned from coming within 100 yards of any school or gathering of more than three children.

  • ||

    They're saying that you don't get to choose what your kid eats unless they approve of it (the fact that this only applies to lunch and not the other 2 meals of the day is unimportant, I guess); my response would be "fuck you asshole, I'll decide what my kid eats, not you".

    Why don't parents get pissed off?

  • ||

    Because we are unworthy of our freedoms. My wife and my father and I had a conversation over Thanksgiving about what would have happened if one of our now deceased grandparents would have ever gone through a TSA security groping. It would have ended in badly. Forty and fifty years ago the government would never have dreamed of randomly groping air travelers because the country was populated with people like my grandparents who would never have tolerated it. Same with this.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Sometimes they do. The new superintendent at my kids' school tried this crap, and was quickly smacked down by parents and teachers alike.

  • ||

    Yeah, I think you just need a handful of vocal people to shout them down quickly and then these half wits start to fear for their jobs.

  • ||

    """They're saying that you don't get to choose what your kid eats unless they approve of it""

    At school.

    I think Amy Alkon is righ. If we can dictate what clothes kids wear to school, why can't they dictate what food they eat too? Once you allow the schools to start making those decisons, they will take it as far as they can as they see fit. Each new rule is justification for the next.

  • Dello||

    I'm actually OK with school uniforms (at private schools), but that's where it ends. Hair length, color, and style, facial piercings, and whatnot don't bother me. I like uniforms because it helps take away the stigma of being a poor kid at a rich school.

  • ||

    Dress codes are justified by the fact that some clothing selections are likely to distract from the educational environment. Since the school's ostensible purpose is to educate, this is a justifiable restriction. It's the same reason I doubt anyone here would say that not allowing talking during written exams violates freedom of speech.

    Banning sweets and salty snacks is different as it is a pure exercise in social engineering, not the educational mission of the school, and even its advocates attempt to justify it in the language of social engineering. It might be different if the administrators could plausibly argue that sweets were harmful to education.

  • ||

    ""Dress codes are justified by the fact that some clothing selections are likely to distract from the educational environment.""

    Well, so they say. Being called a fatty can be a distraction from education too.

  • Sean Healy||

    I think they can successfully argue that the ban on junk food is in service of proper education about nutrition. If nutrition is part of the health curriculum, surely it would produce cognitive dissonance to allow kids to bring in foods they've been told are unhealthy. Consistency reinforces learning.

    My kid's school has a 'no junk food in packed lunches' rule and justifies it on educational grounds, not as part of social engineering. I grudgingly respect the position they're taking.

    But don't get me started on the 'no nuts' policy...

  • Some Guy||

    For once, I agree with you 100%. Since it's clearly a day of improbabilities, I'm going to go buy a lottery ticket.

  • Robert||

    They can't make a parent pack or not pack anything, they just decide what they allow onto their premises.

  • ||

    ---"they just decide what they allow onto their premises."---

    Their premises?

  • hmm||

    God why couldn't they have done this when I was a kid. I had a shit ton of competition in the Twinkie market. At one point I had to cough up twp Twinkies for one M.U.S.C.L.E guy. With such regulation and my general disregard for any rules, even at that age, I could have had my own grade school mafia.

  • Mango Punch||

    Are you saying you peddled twinkies, or that you used to get beat up? Please clarify.

  • hmm||

    I used to push twinkies and tootsie pops. I somehow conned my mom into buying a ton of them and I would trade them for all kinds of crap.

  • hmm||

    I didn't start getting the shit beat out of me until I skipped the 4th and 5th grade. Getting my ass kicked lasted until the school told my mother they couldn't do anything and my mother told me in front of the superintendent that the next time I get in a fight the other guy goes to the hospital. Then I'd get my ass kicked by more than one, but at least on of them was getting as fucked up as I was. Sort of who's taking the first bullet approach.

    I will never forget the look on the superintendents face.

  • Rock Action ||

    I remember that shit -- we used to have utter and anarchic playground wars around fifth grade. After getting my ass kicked a bunch of times for doing nothing, really, I finally learned (because my older brother and I had an honor thing where you didn't punch in the face) how to do so with gusto. Can you imagine the punishments if we did today what we did then?

    I'm not sure it was a good experience, nor desirable, but God, I would've been bouncing from school to school with all sorts of records trailing me.

    Oh, and when it really got bad? When they decided our public school (the poorest one in our county) would be the mainstreaming one for kids with behavioral problems. Surprise!

    Vouchers, please, more, quickly.

  • Restoras||

    So I presume this means that the school lunches served are laden with high-fiber complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and are vitamin and mineral rich.

    No?

    Well...carry on, then.

  • George Wallace [not that one]||

    Her little dog, too?!?

  • Pip||

    You're not the famouse comedian? Damn. :(

  • ||

    Back in my day beer and pot were strictly prohibited in school. Good thing that ban was there to keep any of us from doing any of that.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Sure. I remember at just about any given time of the day, you could find "No-Fuss Gus" selling joints in the First Floor Men's Room. I don't know how he did it, but he did, damned near every day.

  • Almanian ||

    Ahhh, "the Smoke Hole", out past the parking lot, where the "burnouts" went.

    Me and my buddies used to race the CETA guard (remember CETA?) to Big Beef's Buick station wagon, and drive off campus (prohibited) to smoke in the car. Cause we weren't "burnouts", of course, so we wouldn't be caught dead at the "Smoke Hole".

    Good times....

  • cynical||

    I love how one dumbshit idea is used to justify another dumbshit idea. "Well, you might not like Authoritarian Policy #1, but it's not that different from Authoritarian Policy #2 that we have right now." And some people have the nerve to call the slippery slope a fallacy.

  • Brett L||

    Ah crap. The only person I know in St. Paul homeschools. She would totally be down for packing a twinkie in her kids' lunch every day and fighting with the school when they called her about it. Which is probably why her kids don't go to public school.

  • But We Hyperbolize||

    We are the world, we are...St. Paul?

  • ||

    Is a total ban on Ho-Hos packed by mom for a skinny kid

    You have to ban it for everyone, ESPECIALLY the skinny kid. You think the fat kids are gonna let him eat that tasty treat in peace? Nah, black and and no lunch for you skinny-bitch.

    It's for safety.

  • ||

    "Nah, black-eye and no lunch"

    FTFM

  • ||

    For some reason I'm reminded of that movie where the Detention teacher warden (played by Joe Isuzu) confiscates a kid's nickel bag of pot, and then confiscates a bags of Cheetohs from a kid at another desk.

  • ||

    Sounds like a great black market opportunity for an enterprising kid.

  • ||

    As long as that kid has the muscle to keep the fatties from just robbing him.

  • ||

    can't wait to hear the story about the school administrator who calls the police on a kid for bringing a cupcake Zero Tolerance!

  • ||

    this sweets ban isn’t in service of someone’s power trip

    Sucker.

  • Pip||

    "Is a total ban on Ho-Hos"

    RACIST!

  • ||

    Resist!

  • They Live||

    OBEY!

  • Fire Tiger||

    The correct response is for parents to send their students to school with shirts that say "You can have my Twinkie when you pry it from my cold dead hands."

  • ||

    They'd probably report you to human services and have your child taken away from you.

  • ||

    Thoughtcrime, the most despicable of transgressions.

  • cynical||

    A few dead bureaucrats, and that shit would stop.

  • ||

    What I don't get is how anyone can make any absolute statements about nutrition, anyway. I'm old enough to have seen a number of radical reversals on what's supposed to be good for you, and I suspect that even food that is truly good for some of us might not be as good for others. This leaves aside for the moment the fact that the science on nutrition and the politics of nutrition have little direct correlation.

    Maybe they should just drop the frillier subjects and make the kids do physical drills a couple of hours a morning.

  • Brett L||

    We have always been at war with eggs transfats.

  • ||

    The list is a mile long--butter, eggs, various sweeteners, not to mention food groups, pyramids, and other schemes.

  • ||

    "" not to mention food groups, pyramids, and other schemes.""

    No kidding. Didn't they change that like three times in the last 30 years or so?

  • ||

    Only a few fundamental changes, I suppose, but they tweak it like you wouldn't believe. If they rewrote the Bible that much, Jesus would have a superpowered sidekick and a jet.

  • ||

    If they rewrote the Bible that much, Jesus would have a superpowered sidekick and a jet.

    Rewrote it that much, recently, you mean? Or if the same annyist were rewritting the bible instead of the hundreds/thousands of authors who were rewriting it the past 3-4k (best guess, I'm not looking it up) years?

    Son, I am confuse.

  • ||

    Yes, I meant recently. Heck, the translations alone screwed it up quite a bit in the first place.

  • ||

    What translation? The bible wasn't written in English???

  • ||

    Shocking, I know. However, it's well established that it was written in Esperanto.

  • LarryA||

    Yeah, but in that really dusty King's English.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Food pyramid scheme?

  • Speaking of Dogs...||

    Fulton County Marshal Antonio Johnson said Thursday the deputy who shot and killed a couple's dog while trying to serve a lawsuit Wednesday morning is "very remorseful" about the "very unfortunate situation," but felt he was defending himself.

    "From talking to him, he didn't have any other choice because the dog was charging at him," Johnson told the AJC. "The dog was unattended, unleashed, in an open gravel field."

    Owner Carey Cullifer, however, said his 40-pound lab mix, Basil, was anything but aggressive.

    "It's absolutely appalling and ridiculous that a deputy thought his life was in danger by a 40-pound dog, a beautiful little lab terrier that's not at all aggressive," Cullifer, a 32-year-old mechanic, told the AJC. "Most of the time she cowers and shakes when she gets around people she doesn't know."

    http://www.ajc.com/news/atlant.....91111.html

  • cynical||

    I think that should be an objective measurement of fitness for service. If you can't take down or calm down a small mammal without resorting to lethal violence, you aren't ready to be dealing with humans.

  • ||

    Not a good idea. There are a shitload of animals the size of a dog and smaller that can easily kill a human.

    Are you saying you wouldn't shoot a coyote that was charging you?

  • Apogee||

    Of course you're right. That's why all USPS employees carry H&K MP5 SD's.

    They would have given them grenade launchers as well, but animal control complained that the pieces were too hard to locate after an 'attack'.

    Leaving our brave Postal employees to deal with human-eradicating house pets armed only with a can of MACE would, of course, be ludicrous. Plus, the Post Office has so much better training than the police.

  • Apogee||

    Be careful of postmen.

  • JoshINHB||

    Are you saying you wouldn't shoot a coyote that was charging you?

    This is the stupidest thing I've ever read here.

    Including all of Chony's bullshit.

  • JoshINHB||

    When did being a pussy become a requirement for a career in law enforcement?

  • Zack||

    As a chemist who has taught college lab courses and whose skin has endured more than its share of acid and base burns, I have a minor quibble about the content of the blog. I agree that in a music or math class, regulations on skirt length are morally based nonsense. However, making sure that students cover their legs is actually a fairly important safety concern in the lab.

  • Tim||

    STFU science boy.

    He said sarcastically.

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    Maybe so, Zack, but safety wasn't the original reason for dress codes. School uniforms have generally been imposed in an attempt to control behavior (less individuality = less disruption, dontcha know?).

    The whole "safety" justification is just tacked on for the benefit of those who'd otherwise rebel at the idea of turning their precious little dear into a slack-jawed zombie child.

  • Mr Whipple||

    School uniforms have generally been imposed in an attempt to control behavior

    And exactly who manufactures and/or sells them to the school district? Low-bidder?

  • ||

    I think mandatory body armor would solve quite a few problems. Liquid-cooled for warmer climes, of course.

  • ||

    Kids still get to work with dangerous chemicals in school? Don't their principals know the students could be making drugs or explosives?!

  • Paul||

    However, making sure that students cover their legs is actually a fairly important safety concern in the lab.

    Point aggressively missed.

    When I was in Jr. High, we had shop class. If you actually had shop class, and you'd have worn something clearly unsafe for the class, the teacher either wouldn't have allowed you to perform that task that day, or simply told you "For this class, you really need this attire".

    This has nothing to do with a district-wide ban on open toed shoes for 1st graders who don't have shop class, or the 72% of kids who never will have shop class.

    Safety needs to be taken in context. If you're electing to take a class where they're blowin' shit up, act accordingly. Do we really need to mandate acid-protecting burkas for the entire school district because one chemistry class might give you a slightly worse than normal owie in the rare event of an accident?

  • ||

    Do we really need to mandate acid-protecting burkas for the entire school district because one chemistry class might give you a slightly worse than normal owie in the rare event of an accident?

    Oh, no, of course we don't Paul......AAAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEEE, Acid-based terrorism!!!!!

    Why did Paul have to hate the children?

  • BakedPenguin||

    No, he got the point, he just mentioned an exception. And a burka would probably limit visibility in the lab, not to mention the looseness of the garment could be a hazard when moving your arms about (e.g., a loose sleeve could knock over a beaker).

    Oh, and snack cakes should also be left outside the lab. They could become contaminated with chemicals.

  • CE||

    Snack cakes are already contaminated with chemicals.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Good point, CE. Snack cakes should be left outside the lab because they could contaminate the chemicals in the lab.

    Also, another reason not to wear burkas is because they could be used to sneak snack cakes into the lab.

  • Paul||

    No, he missed the point, and I addressed his exception, proving he missed the point. Context context context is the point. And Zack flew right by at at mach 5.

  • BakedPenguin||

    However, making sure that students cover their legs is actually a fairly important safety concern in the lab.

    Funny, I just saw a lab safety video that made this point. It also mentioned that long hair should be kept back.

  • DMH||

    Speaking as an ex-skinny kid--I always had to eat a bag of potato chips or a ho-ho before gym or after school sports so I wouldn't pass out. So did my brother. Small children are not adults, they need frequent (admittedly small) caloric intake so their bodies can keep up. The school system seldom accounts for this.

  • Dello||

    That's because the folks who make the rules are generally lard-asses who have forgotten what gym is.

  • EJM||

    A post concerning Little Debbie without an embedded Rich Little video?

  • ||

    We had a similar ban on non-nutitious snacks when I was a kid. Fruit and crackers and the like was allowed, candy wasn't. This was in the early eighties.

    I remember some kid's mom packed a fluffer nutter sandwich (peanut butter and marshmallow, for those of you who are not familiar with the term). He got to eat the sandwich, but someone called his mom and asked her not to do it again.

    I don't remember any outcry on that one. Maybe it was a simpler time.

  • Paul||

    The internet wasn't there for us to virally ridicule the school. But thanks for the reminder that our freedoms have been slipping even longer than we know.

    Oh, had I been that kids mom? I would have told the pencil-neck on the other end of the phone to get stuffed, and sent the kid to school the next day with two "fluffer nutters". (do they really call them that?)

  • Walsh||

    "some kid's mom packed a fluffer nutter sandwich (peanut butter and marshmallow, for those of you who are not familiar with the term)"

    Well in 2010, it means something completely different.

  • Paul||

    Taking snack cakes from the hands of tiny children is not actually going to make them better off. It's going to make them resent authority figures at school,

    My eight-year-old is well on her way... well on her way. I'm so proud.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Fuck Little Debbie, and her Mom, too.

    Tastykakes, Bitchez.

  • Mr Whipple||

    If they tried this shit in Philly public schools there'd be protests in the street and at City Hall. All of them Union pukes that work at Tastykake would be out in force.

    Oh, and Tastykake invented individually packaged lunchbox-sized pies.

  • Dello||

    Is Tastykake anything like Bukkake? Those Union guys really do have it good...

  • Whitney||

    "Sticky, sweet" foods are out. So I guess that means peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are out. If it wasn't so maddening, it would just be sad.

  • ||

    My daughter ate a clementine yesterday. It sure was sweet, and I'm still wiping up the sticky handprints she left all over the house (she's two).

    Granola bars are very sweet and leave a sticky mess behind, too, especially the chewy varieties. And don't get me started on Nutri-Grain bars, Fig Newtons, strawberries, bananas, fruit roll-ups, or raisins.*

    *I wonder when all of the aforementioned formerly-considered-healthy snacks will be banned due to their sweet-sticky properties.

  • ||

    Just for the record, my Mom was in school back in the '50s, and she told me about the thing against open toed shoes. ...and it wasn't about safety.

    It was about preventing unwanted pregnancy! What she was told was that open toed shoes let guys see toes, and seeing a girl's toes supposedly made guys think about babies.

    Open toed shoes were supposedly just too revealing for proper women to wear in mixed company. It wasn't about safety at all.

  • ||

    Those damned Boomers and their foot fetishes!

  • Paul||

    But liberals hated the 50s because it was so full of bullshit, bourgeois conservative social mores. Why, that's why they made that movie Pleasantville, to finally say about the fifties what everyone has always thought!!!

    But hey, those liberals have taken back the high ground by banning all this shit for entirely different reasons now. Same shit is banned, and all of it banned for your own good, just for a different outcome.

    Enjoy that whiskey on the rocks... it'll be your last. Causes liver disease you know, and now that the state pays for your healthcare... well, paying pipers, calling tunes and all that...

  • ||

    I wasn't allowed to wear patent-leather shoes to school when I was a kid, because the reflection allowed boys to look up your skirt. OK, it was a Catholic school - but did we really require that info and/or warning in the 3rd grade?

  • ||

    A Newfie joke. (Or at least a joke in a Newfie setting.)

    Sally was dancin' with all at the dance one Saturday night. She says to Al, "Can you guess what color panties I'm wearing tonight?" Al looks down thoughtfully for a moment, and says "White panties!" Sally is impressed.

    Next Saturday they're dancin' again. Sally says to Al, "Guess what color panties I'm wearing this night?" Al looks down like before, and he says, "Red Panties!" Sally is amazed.

    On the third weekend they're dancin' again, and Sally (thinking of putting Al to a real test) asks: "What color panties am I wearing now?" Al looks down for a moment, and starts to frown. "I don't know what color panties you're wearing tonight" he confesses. Sally says, "Ha! I'm not wearing ANY panties tonight!" Al replies, "Thank goodness--I thought for a moment that I found a crack in my new rubber boots!"

  • Mark Lambert||

    My school sent home a note saying that candy was not allowed in sack lunches. I promply started sending a small piece of candy every day with my daughter. I told her that if a teacher or principal told her she couldn't do that, she was to have said person call me, and I would promptly explain that I decided what my kid would eat, not them. Never got a call.

  • Mark Lambert||

    Oh, and, Katherine, FYI, Jacob Sullum blogged on this last week. Not that mutliple posts are a bad thing -- it's fun to read the different perspectives.

  • LarryA||

    New ED Motto:

    "Sure, our graduates are illiterate. But they look fine in spandex!"

  • Jeffersonian||

    My very first thought, to a tee. Have the government schools finally achieved full literacy and numeracy that they can now focus on the minutae of nutrition?

  • CE||

    Just ban public schools.

  • Where's the SOB Tony...||

    to tell us it's okay for the govt to regulate school lunches, 'cause after all you can still pack what you want for little Sasha.

  • ||

    they can have my little debbie when they pry it out of my cold dead fingers....O OH! that soulds like I'm a child molester.
    They can have my twinkie when they pry it out of my cold dead fingers...
    O Oh! that makes it should like I'm a gay pervert...
    They can have my baby ruth when they pry it out of my cold dead fingers...
    O OH! That makes it sound like...
    They can have my butterfinger when they pry it out of....Oh I give up.

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