Please disregard the school’s wellness policy

My sons’ school district has a wellness policy, a clearly written, well defined wellness policy.  For the most part it is followed.  For the most part.  There are no soda machines that the students can purchase from (you read that correctly, none accessible to the students, but there might be soda machines where the teachers can make purchases.)  You know, do as we say not as we do.  There is also a vending machine with healthier choices for the kids to make purchases.  Some of those aren’t bad and some I would even allow my kids to purchase if I didn’t already pack them each a healthy lunch with a refillable water bottle every day for school. 
The schools promote the 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go program.  If you aren’t familiar with this program, it breaks down like this:

  • 5 or more fruits and vegetables every day
  • 2 hours or less of recreational “screen time” each day
  • 1 hour or more of physical activity every day
  • 0 sugary drinks – water, water, water

It is a wonderful program and I am pleased to see it in the school system. 
So, last week and this week Nick, along with other students in his grade, have been doing some assessment testing.  The school sent home a letter asking that the kids get a good night of sleep and a healthy breakfast to prepare them for the hours of testing.  Of course these are all great priorities in preparation for any school day, but even more so for such focused time spent on testing.  To reward the students for their hard work during this time, their names were being randomly drawn to receive a prize.  Here’s where I get really pissed off so you may want to click away.  Nick was lucky enough to have his name drawn twice last week.  I was unpacking his lunchbox and found his organic and healthy granola bar still in its wrapper and along side it was the prize, or should I say what remained of the prize.  It was an empty candy bar wrapper.  And not one of those mini sized candy bars, but a full size candy bar.  They rewarded my son with effing junk. 
Remember there’s a wellness policy in place?  How they ask that the kids come prepared for testing having a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast?  And how there’s a freaking wellness policy?  Yes, I know I said that one twice.  I am angry as hell!  Yes, Nick could have turned down the prize, but really, he’s 12, and if his principal can’t even be a good wellness role model why shouldn’t he take the damn candy bar, right?
What’s worse about this is that the principal was asked to consider a better, more healthy option, to reward the kids and pretty much ignored that request.  I won’t even share with you the dollar amount she spent on the candy bars she purchased at this same time last year.  It’s mind boggling and really, really appalling, not to mention failing the students.
Here’s the thing.  When and if my kids, or your kids, are given candy as a “treat” it should be up to us as their parents, not as a the school administrators.  Period.  Their job is to educate our children, not promote unhealthy eating habits. 
*stepping down from soap box*

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