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Suspended for Taking Fast Food to School

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The next time you are considering packing fast food in your kid's lunch, think again.

teen looking in lunch bag

Two students at Reidsville Middle School were suspended last week after their parents brought them fast food for lunch. School officials say they violated a policy that prohibits outside food.

On Thursday, Charles Finney brought his daughter Brittney food from McDonald's for lunch, and she received a warning. On Friday, he brought her a hamburger in a brown paper bag. Brittney was suspended for three days.

Last week, Kanita Mullins brought her daughter Destiny a meal from Wendy's in a plain, brown bag. School officials made Destiny work as a janitor as punishment.

The principal says school policy does not allow outside food because it competes with child nutrition standards.

Do YOU think kids should be punished or suspended for bringing fast food to school ... even if it's in a brown paper bag?

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23 comments so far | Post a comment now
Sandy November 18, 2009, 2:26 PM

No…kids should not be punished. Their parents should. Why do you need to bring fast food into school? If you want to treat your kid, take them out to lunch. They shouldn’t be eating that crap anyway, much less having their parents bringing it to them at school. Leave it to dinner or the weekends. Silly parents. They should have to do some janitorial work, not the kids.

Pamala November 18, 2009, 2:41 PM

Well do they punish all the other kids who pack a bag for their kids? Whether this is made at home by a parent or at a fast food place what’s the difference? Seriously, I can make my child a meal so unhealthy it’s not even funny, so why is it okay for her to bring something I made that’s unhealthy rather than something some fast food place made?

John November 18, 2009, 2:48 PM

I wonder, does the school have a policy against bringing a home-packed lunch to school? Do they have policy on what type of home-packed lunch I as a parent can send? No lunchables? No baloney? Only Whole Wheat Bread?
And what happens if a child forgot her lunch, does the school have a policy against a parent dropping off their home-packed lunch?
If the school allows lunch to be brought from home, then they sure should let a parent decide what to pack for their kid. Even if it’s a Wendy’s Hamburger.
It seems this school is over-reaching. Perhaps nutrition education should be the focus — not zero tolerance restrictions.
Heck, I bet they allow 100 calorie / serving, 20 grams of sugar 100% Juice beverages — that’s not the healthiest choice!

Maria November 18, 2009, 2:55 PM

Brittney and Destiny? Enough said.

KA November 18, 2009, 2:57 PM

If the parents have a problem with the lunch policy they should address their concerns through the appropriate channels. Trying to cheat the system by sneaking illegal foods into home bags means teaches their children the wrong lessons about the rules of the authoritative bodies. They know the kids aren’t supposed to have fast food and they should teach their kids to follow the rules of the institution, especially those that are intended for their own good. The issue here is not fast food but parental negligence in role-modeling.

anon November 18, 2009, 2:59 PM

this is so redic, like omg.

Government Schools at Work November 18, 2009, 3:02 PM

Just another example of how the government is telling you how to treat your children.

The parents should be punished not for bringing them fast food but for sending them to terrible government schools.

Allison November 18, 2009, 3:02 PM

Wow… So they would rather have a child stay home from school, which means missing out on learning than have a fast food meal brought to school for lunch. That is outrageous. Now if this is a policy than it must be followed, but being suspended is over kill. If it is something this school REALLY wants to stick with than this school needs to send a letter, email, and maybe even phone all the parents to make sure they are told. I mean BIG print not a tiny snippet in the middle of a huge handout of rules… ESPECIALLY if suspension is the punishment. I do have a feeling that this child was being made an example of.

Zach November 18, 2009, 3:07 PM

This is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. The parent should have more say over what their child is eating than the school. If the parent wants to send their child to school with twelve big-macs everyday, well, so be it. It’s the parents choice when it comes to raising their child.

Elijah November 18, 2009, 3:25 PM

First off, the parents were wrong for giving their children fast food. Second, the parents should have more say in what their children should be eating, especially if they don’t feel comfortable with their kids eating school food, or their children have special dietary needs. Any punishment for bringing in outside food is harsh and completely unnecessary. The punishment is probably more likely so that the school can make money selling their lunch, too.

Mike November 18, 2009, 4:20 PM

They punish kids for having a hamburger for lunch? Heaven forbid one of them should ever get caught eating a candy bar over the weekend; that may call for holding them back a grade! Apparently, someone REALLY likes flexing their muscles and showing their authority.

Chrissy November 18, 2009, 7:25 PM

I have no problem, unlike other posters, that the parents brought fast food to school for their children. Obviously it wasn’t a every day thing.
I agree that schools should, any most schoold don’t, provide a healthy meal, it’s not the school’s business to usurp the parent’s decision regarding feeding their children.

tennmom November 18, 2009, 8:06 PM

My older daughter (private school) always eat’s the school’s lunch because they have several choices.
My younger daughter (public school until next school year) only has 2 choices as far as the school’s lunches go. On the days she doesn’t want the ham and cheese roll-up or chef salad, I pack a lunch for her. There have been a couple of times I brought restaurant food (usually chicken) to her but her school has no rules about outside food.

caroline November 19, 2009, 1:13 AM

I suspect there’s more to this than just nutrition, more like school revenue. Last thing schools want to do is encourage kids to pack fast food rather than buy their lunch. I mean, how dare a kid bring in a hamburger rather than buy the school’s tacos and chicken nuggets!

Most schools make a profit off of kids paying full price for lunch, and that offsets the money it costs them for free and reduced price lunches. Some School admins see every packed lunch as money lost. They want to ban outside food all together. Make everyone pay.

ashley November 19, 2009, 4:33 AM

Makes me want to pack a super unhealthy lunch for my kid today. Hmmmm…maybe, peanut butter and marshmallow cream on white bread, juice, candy, and pudding!! Just kidding, we save the pb and marshmallow cream sammies for dessert. My son ALWAYS has a fresh fruit in his lunch box and capri sun even though some of you other posters say it’s not good for them. SOmetimes he buys a milk though and they are allowed to have water bottles on their desks so he drinks that throughtout the day. I think it is RIDICULOUS for those girls to be punished. They have no right!! At my son’t elem. there is a table that the parents can sit at with their kids if they want to bring in fast food.

Anonymous November 19, 2009, 5:25 AM

I have taken fast food in to my children before and you know what…I don’t care what anyone says about it. Have you been to your childrens school and see the lunches the schools offers? Not healthy at all. I have always packed my kids lunches and if for some special reason I chose to pick up lunch for them and go in and spend their lunch break with them, then I will. I’m guessing most of these post don’t have to time to go into the kids school and spend time with them.

angie November 19, 2009, 8:11 AM

This is BULL****!! The school is required to offer healthy choices for our children but what I feed them is NONE of their business. I had a friend experience a similar problem at a Catholic school here in Tennessee. In this case the principal yelled at him in front of the students. Mind you, all he brought in was a diet coke!

PlumbLucky November 19, 2009, 8:28 AM

“Outside food”? So does this school have meals available for those on vegetarian/vegan diets, specialized diets due to medical necessity, and allergen free food for those needing it?

Or is it simply “no fast food”.

What I did find in the linked article is that the father ignored a warning letter that was sent home when he sent food in the first time. To me that just seems really stupid, almost baiting them to cause a problem.

Anonymous November 19, 2009, 8:34 AM

Are these schools INSANE?

RMS parent November 19, 2009, 8:59 AM

I am a parent of a child that attends this school. To set a few things straight, this is how I heard it. The one child’s father brought her a lunch from McDonalds in the McDonalds bag. He was told he couldn’t do that, that it had to be in a plain bag. So the next day he sent the lunch in a plain brown bag however the hamburger still had the McDonalds wrapper on it. I have to wonder if the parent thought they were doing what the school said to do. So basically had he stuck the hamburger in a ziplock bag, there would be no issue. I can tell you that I had absolutely no idea that this was even a rule at our school. You can send your child to school with a bag lunch but apparently they get to tell you what to put in it! I was outraged to learn this. What I feed my kid is my business, not the school! I would love to see the parents of our school get together and petition the school system to change this rule as it is clearly ridiculous when I KNOW there are way more pressing issues to deal with in this particular school!

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