Parents being told, in effect, that they are too stupid to pack their own kids' lunch - or put another way, the uber-Nanny State machinations of one Chicago public school principal - has generated a lot of negative reaction, and rightly so. As my colleague Lisa Graas points out:
"If we can't even decide for ourselves what our kids can eat, we might as well throw in the towel and hoist a Marxist flag up the flagpole. There is no more basic decision for parents than what we decide to feed our children. If we capitulate on something so utterly fundamental to parenting, there is no freedom that cannot be taken from us."However, it occurs to me that we capitulated, a long time ago, one something even more fundamental than what we put in their stomachs, and that is what we put in their minds.
The parents who are bowing and scraping to this public school official by submissively accepting her dictates regarding the potential evils of potato chips or cupcakes are parents who no longer can think critically or independently. And why is that, you say? Because they themselves are products of this same public education system.
Wake up, people! Public schools, although on a dizzying downward spiral now, have not been bastions of rigorous academic or critical inquiry anytime in the recent past - in fact, I would say that any of us still young enough to vigorously debate in the public square did not in fact have the benefit of an excellent public school education (with the occasional exception in various affluent communities, etc.).
People like Bill Ayers have been teaching the teachers - effectively hollowing out America's education system from the inside with the rot of Marxism. These are the people who are educating your children - and it's why the younger the voter, the more likely he/she voted for Obama.
So I would remind my fellow conservatives - the battle in the schools is not what your child eats. It is what your child thinks.
So teach your child to do so. Whether you make the courageous and principled choice to homeschool your kids, the financially sacrificial choice to pay for private education, or you use the deeply-flawed public education system - engage in conversation with your children every single day about what they're learning, what they're absorbing from the culture around them, how they're being prodded to think. Talk to them about why you believe the way you do. Give them examples; show them in a hands-on way the value of the free market. Teach them to revere our liberties. For heaven's sake, read the Constitution with them. Make sure they know the beauty of what we have.
Long term - this kind of parenting is really America's only hope.
Yes, the Chicago school principal is guilty of gross intrusion into private family matters. But she could not get away with that if the Left hadn't already stacked the deck. If my kids were in that school, I'd be a lot more worried about what's going into their brains and their hearts than what's going into their stomachs.