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Parents asked to sign permission slip for kids to eat Oreos in class

Rebecca Bracken is a news and views writer.






Middle schooler sent home with permission slip to eat Oreos. Really?

Is this how bad food-policing at school has gotten?

One mother of a middle schooler, Main Line Housewife, couldn't believe the permission slip she was asked to sign for her son. Not for a field trip or special activity — so he could eat Oreos in class.

To be fair, they are Double Stuf Oreos.

The teacher, Mrs. Porter, is teaching about plate tectonics.

"The students will model plate movement and observe earth's features that occur as the plates move in this simulation lab," she explains on the permission slip. "They will be using a Double Stuff Oreo to simulate the 3 types of plate boundaries and the geographical features that are created at the boundary. The students may eat the Oreo after the investigation if this is okay with you."

It seems in a world of allergies and gluten intolerance and parents who demand only organic for their kids, even the simplest of treats, Oreos, have to be handled with the utmost care. And while most parents will join me in a hearty eye roll over the ridiculousness of an Oreo permission slip, the reality of school today is that instead of teaching plate tectonics, teachers are forced to police their students' food.

Schools have even banned birthday cakes and other treats because it's just too difficult to make sure none of the kids with special diets and allergies are exposed to the wrong foods.

Mrs. Porter is just trying to find some interesting way to get kids excited about science. I bet her Oreo plate tectonic lesson is really fun and the kids love it. And I can imagine her sitting at her desk, looking at her lesson plans and saying to herself, "I better cover my posterior and let parents know their kids might be eating an Oreo. I don't want to deal with angry parents later."

Mrs. Porter isn't the problem, folks. We are. Parents and communities have spent so much time beating the crap out of our teachers and treating them as adversaries rather than partners in raising our kids that this is the ridiculous result.

Can you imagine your parents getting upset about an Oreo? Not in a million years. Teachers used to be trusted by families to make decisions for their kids. That's simply no longer the case.

It sure would be nice if Mrs. Porter could spend her time on teaching instead of this administrative minutia, but that's not the world we live in. Sure, a permission slip so kids can eat an Oreo seems silly, but wouldn't you do whatever you could to protect yourself and your job from pissed-off parents?

The real victims of all this are our kids' school environment and the sanity of our teachers. If we want less of this, maybe we can all work together to try and chill out about what our kids eat.

What do you think about the Oreo permission slip? Crazy or smart?

More on school food

Michelle Obama's school lunch program makes kids hungry
Every school needs to adopt the birthday cake ban
Do kids with food allergies inconvenience 'normal' kids?

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