September 19, 2012

Santa Made Me Smoke!

I mean really! Did anyone catch the this on the news this morning? The latest in stupid moves (all in the name of "health promotion"). Evidently, Santa is becoming a non-smoker because of the suggested negative influence he has on the poor children; smoking his pipe. Next thing you know, you will see pictures of Santa enjoying the salad Bethany left for him on Christmas eve. I don't know about you, but I have started to notice some really ignorant moves from the health watchdogs that is moving towards control for control's sake rather than health....but then, I did have a crappy sleep last night.

From teachers taking kid's lunches away because they are judging them as "unhealthy" and banning tuna fish in schools to making the supersize pop obsolete (as they are proposing in NYC), health promotion is taking a very unhealthy turn toward dictatorship. By focusing on removal and restriction we are ignoring the importance of education and self responsibility. Oh ya....but that would be too hard and too expensive...not to mention they would have to actually educate.

I am starting to really feel for kids growing up in this uber protective society we have created. From driving them to swim practice (when they could easily ride their bike) to taking away choice, lest they chose the wrong thing and die from a sugar overdose, it's getting offically outta hand.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that we eat a ton of sugar and drink a ton of pop and eat way too much processed food...but is this the way to make change? Dare I say no. Change starts with education. Making education affordable and attractive to everyone (i.e. changing the way we teach for all to enjoy) would make a huge dent in the obesity, smoking, drinking, teen-age pregnancy, and sedentary rates. Santa could still keep his pipe, cookies, and milk because we would have the education to make healthy choices for ourselves (and, therefore, not look to Santa for who ever did that in the first place...but whatever). 

All I can say is it is a very good thing I am not the parent of a kid in school. One word of grabbing my child's lunch out of his/her hand and I would be there like white on rice. And let's be honest (warning...mild generalizing is about to occur) the average teacher grabbing that sandwich from Jimmy's hand is the same teacher going home to a processed dinner chased down with a bowl of ice cream (or a couple of drinks) and a night of reality TV. If teachers want to make a difference BECOME A ROLE MODEL FOR CHANGE! Parents, teachers, coaches, aunts, uncles...if we truly want to see the next generation growing up active and embracing the carrot...we have to do it first.

It ain't rocket surgery.



  1. I am a role model for my students as are my colleagues....that would not be a change in behavior. Perhaps if parents bought and sent healthy food and society stopped offloading parental responsibility to schools/teachers, teachers wouldn't be asked to monitor what our students are eating. I agree that education, not monitoring is the key. I take exception at blaming (and stereotyping) teachers.

  2. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't expecting a comment like the one above. I appreciate the time you have taken to comment, Anonymous.

    Yup. I agree with your statement and do empathize with teachers when they have to witness some of the crap the kids are eating (coming from home). I don't think I could do it.

    So what's the disconnect? How can the education system turn the responsibility back to the parent? Why isn't this happening? How much responsibility should the teacher have? Does the teacher have a right to just say "NO" to the monitoring of nutritional choices? Is the teacher even educated to do so? Are there liabilities to this?

    I know a few teachers who see no problem with diagnosing children with ADD or ADHD when talking to parents. I've seen teachers pigeon hole kids once that diagnosis has happened. I see teachers sitting on the sidelines as the kids are in PE (or what's left of it).

    It's hard not to be critical....but either way, I acknowledge my generalization and am sincerely sorry if I offended you. Thank you for being a role model for your students (and hopefully other teachers and parents).