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Should schools stop having holiday parties? - Page 3

post #41 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by amber3902 View Post
 

I agree!  This religion is a cult more than anything. I left when I was 18 years old, even though that meant being shunned by every member in the religion, including my own family.  I am so very glad my children will not be raised up in that environment or have to go through what I did as a kid.

I am so glad for you you got out and can focus on what is making your kids happy as opposed to a wrathful god...

 

My husband teaches high school and he celebrates stuff like "senior physics, 50th period" and senior physics, 100th period" with his students. He brings in a breakfast treat everyone will have and they have coffee and tea (once everyone is over 18, he brings in alcohol free beer - hey, we're in Bavaria), and everyone goes back to work after wards. The students love it and it really keeps up motivation.

post #42 of 73

I teach high school as well; our toughest piece is Julius Caesar. Once we have completed the play and all of the activities, we have a "We conquered Caesar" party with Caesar salad, death by chocolate cake and Rome's best pizza. The students can bring in other things, but all the food has to have a name tied to Caesar. We then read their favorite Shakespeare quotes and have a feast. It's one of my favorite days, and the kids love it.

post #43 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by momasana View Post
 

 

Oh wow...so no parties allowed at all in their belief system?  That's tricky but in this case I agree with your original comment that there isn't a way to meet everyone's needs in that case. I suppose that would be the same as if someone didn't believe in sports and had their children sit out of PE. It would be unreasonable to expect ALL kids to sit of PE if a family didn't believe in it.  

 

A teacher should always be sensitive to a student's beliefs but not to the point of eliminating secular activities.  

 

I hope my original comment didn't come across as snarky towards you, lrj85. I recently moved from a very religious community and feel a bit sensitive about these issues. But that's chat for a different thread, I suppose.


No snark at all :) I just wanted to point out that there are some parents out there with such EXTREME belief systems that it makes inclusive celebrations impossible! And how unfair that is to the rest of the kids my daughter included. For instance one parent raised objections that on a dress up day for school the kids wore pajamas this was held on halloween as an alternative to people who find that holiday "offensive" my daughter chose to wear her halloween colored pajamas (orange and black with a purple cat on them nothing scary or offensive) this parent was apparently deeply "offended" I would allow my daughter wear that. I told her that if my daughters clothing was that "offensive" she should probably take her child to a religious school who shared her belief system. I just get sick of the group having to be dictated by ONE person's/parent/child's ridiculous expectation of inclusion on all fronts no matter what.

post #44 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comtessa View Post

At DD's preschool, only store-packaged treats are allowed, probably because they can't guarantee allergy friendliness on homemade items, but yuck! I'm supportive of holiday parties as long as they are inclusive, but the junk food makes me sad. I'm trying to figure out what to bring in for the Halloween party that's healthy and also store-packaged -- the options on the sign up sheet were pizza, chips, cheese corn, and candy. I mean -- Really?!

Our school says the health dept.forbids anything homemade or prepared at home. You can bring whole fruits, like grapes, or have the deli at the store slice and package things like cantilope or cheese.
post #45 of 73

This is the first party where our schools PTA provides 3 snacks that are allergy friendly/safe for every kid in the school.  They were vetted by parents dealing with food issues and the PTA, school nurse and principal. There was much discussion about "healthy" but the fact is, healthy and prepackaged are often not found together.  They get a small bag of chips, a fruit leather and a 2 pk. of cookies and each room parent brings in a 8 oz. water for each kid.  

The three snacks was a big compromise. I think that's still too much but baby steps!  I also realize that we are in a position that the PTA is able to do this as it's very expensive. We are looking at about $900-1000 for the entire school for 3 parties. 

 

I would prefer that IF they have celebrations they are mindful of differences and stay the hell away from food at all costs.  I agree that it ISN'T just about allergies but I worry more about the health of these kids!  Food from someones house freaks me out on many levels.  Even pre cut fruit can be an issue for kids with server allergies.  I say do away with the food and thats good enough for me!

post #46 of 73
I was dismayed by the complete overload of junk food at the parties this year so I asked the school if I could help with getting some healthier items to come in as well. They were all for it. At the end of the year party last year we had more people bring in fresh fruit and veggies than anything else. So it was balanced to see the kids with plate full of fruit and a baked good. Their Halloween party is tomorrow and I made a flyer and ran copies so they could go out with the notice about the party and listed a bunch of healthier, festive items people could consider. DD is bringing in orange slices and pepitas to share. I am sure there will be plenty of sweets too, but I at least feel a little better working on it bit by bit.
post #47 of 73

I'm all for the parties.  They're occasional, so the junk food doesn't bother me.

 

I've had the situations where the room parent wanted to have their version of "healthy food" and it pretty much all went in the trash.

 

It is too bad that some people can't let their kids celebrate anything, but that doesn't mean they should get to inflict their celebration-less lifestyle on everyone.

post #48 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
 

I'm all for the parties.  They're occasional, so the junk food doesn't bother me.

 

I've had the situations where the room parent wanted to have their version of "healthy food" and it pretty much all went in the trash.

 

It is too bad that some people can't let their kids celebrate anything, but that doesn't mean they should get to inflict their celebration-less lifestyle on everyone.

 

i take it that you don't have kids with allergies.

 

i think school parties now have a much greater emphasis on allergy free foods as compared to a decade or two ago- and that should lead people to question just what it is that is causing these changes. i hear the word 'occasional' with regards to junk food but a typical diet these days is far from healthy even on a daily basis. the greater numbers of children with allergies points to a link between diet, environment and health- if not now then the next generation will see it. being mindful of this is to be aware of the need for a change in the way events are celebrated, not as a "celebration-less lifestyle", but a positive change. if children otherwise have a pretty clean diet, i am all for the junk as a one time treat for certain occasions.

 

i am far from the tree-hugger types, but i have to say aside from the broader questions of food quality- the amount of junk generated at these events is also of concern. it's ridiculous that they have these plastic squeeze tubes for some fruit  mush instead of just some pieces of fruit. these things don't just disappear into the ether. no other time on earth have people generated so much toxic waste. that journey does not end at the landfill- it cycles back to the environment. already there are instances of extreme weather on a more regular basis.

 

because of all these changes, these celebrations that were once innocuous, need to be modified to alter the realities that our children and the coming generations will otherwise experience if we go on with a blithe mindset of 'it's only just one small celebration'. 

post #49 of 73

We had a fall celebration with a costume parade just yesterday. It was really a Halloween celebration but I suppose you have to be PC at this day and age.

The kids thoroughly enjoyed it. The ones with allergies just made sure that the stuff they were eating didn't have allergens. A couple of second graders asked for help in reading frosting ingredients and made sure we read it twice (they are awesome). Some moms had their kids bring their own GFCF cookies to decorate.

The teacher asked for healthy snacks to be brought since there were cookies to be decorated already. They played games (not necessarily Halloween themed).

On a different note with regards to exclusion, I have a son who will not touch chocolate. Most times, parents bring chocolate cupcakes for their kids' birthdays. Every once in a while there will be a parent who will remember to bring a non-chocolate kind. However, even if he can't partake of the chocolate cupcakes, he does not feel excluded at all. He likes the few minutes of celebrating someone's birthday, cupcakes or not.

post #50 of 73

Many parents dealing with food allergies would not be comfortable with any food that was unsafe in the classroom at all because of the mess of things and risk to the kids with allergies.  There are various levels of comfort for these parents.  Perhaps one is fine with store bought bakery where another has been instructed per the Dr. to not eat it.  Having these kids bring in their own food can set up bullying and taunting by others. There are a lot of layers to this.  Also, this isn't a choice of not liking something, these parties can/do put kids lives at risk.  I know I'm in the minority but I would be 10000% happy with a story, craft and sig along!

post #51 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by scsigrl View Post
 

Many parents dealing with food allergies would not be comfortable with any food that was unsafe in the classroom at all because of the mess of things and risk to the kids with allergies.  There are various levels of comfort for these parents.  Perhaps one is fine with store bought bakery where another has been instructed per the Dr. to not eat it.  Having these kids bring in their own food can set up bullying and taunting by others.

 

What you describe would be a daily problem in the lunch room, not an issue exclusive to holiday parties. I'm not seeing a fear of having your child in the same room as bakery made items as a reason to not have a party. (BTW, I have celiac. I'm in charge of getting the gluten free goodies for the kids since everyone figures I know which ones taste good).

 

What we did for our class yesterday was have a party with our "buddy" class. All the kids brought their lunches to our room (which was a big deal because we usually eat in the cafeteria) and then we decorated cookies together. Each child was given 1 cookie, 1 scoop of icing (about a tablespoon or either choc or van), and some candies/sprinkles. They had fun piling their decorations on their cookies and then eating them. We then all had an recess together, with just the 2 classes on the playground. It was a lot fun, even though it was very simple.

post #52 of 73

Having food IN the classroom is the issue many parents have. It should be a *relatively* safe place to facilitate learning and having food in that area can cause actual issues as well as unsafe feelings which could distract some children from the learning process.

 

It is NOT is issue in the cafeteria because most parents of kids with allergies have some measure of precaution in place to make it as safe as they can.  Food at lunch is not food in the classroom. Food isn't necessary in the classroom. Yes, there are some schools with no cafeteria so I'm sure those parents have ways of dealing with that. 

I didn't suggest not having parties so I'm not sure where you got that from but honestly, I would be fine with it. It goes agains some peoples religion or cater the they typical Christian rituals that many don't follow. If you want to celebrate it, you can do that at home with your family. It doesn't need to happen in school. BUT if you are going to have these parties how about putting the emphasis on being together and having fun, not adding to the childhood obesity epidemic or alienation of kids with food issues be it allergies, personal beliefs (vegans and the like) or diabetes. 

post #53 of 73

The arguments you are making would also be true of celebrating children's birthday, as those often include food in a place other than the cafeteria. It would also include many science experiments, which at the elementary level often include food items. Heck, our younger students have a snack time with recess, which is a very casual group eating experience that happens every school day.

 

I think another reason to celebrate cultural holidays, such as Halloween, is because it is one of the ways that recent immigrants learn about American culture. The school I work at has far more immigrants who are learning about American holidays than we have Americans who are opposed to them.

post #54 of 73

"The arguments you are making would also be true of celebrating children's birthday, as those often include food in a place other than the cafeteria. It would also include many science experiments, which at the elementary level often include food items. Heck, our younger students have a snack time with recess, which is a very casual group eating experience that happens every school day."

 

​Yes. You are correct.  There is no reason to bring in food treats for birthdays. There are many school where birthday treats are not allowed but a small non food toy/book something is often handed out. It is district policy in many schools around the country.  There is no reason to have them in science experiments, use non food. Kids are in school roughly 6 hours with lunch about in the middle. Why is a snack needed? They can snack at home at the end of the day (though our school had the kids snack in the hall to avoid food IN the classroom).  

post #55 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by scsigrl View Post
  There is no reason to have them in science experiments, use non food. Kids are in school roughly 6 hours with lunch about in the middle. Why is a snack needed? They can snack at home at the end of the day (though our school had the kids snack in the hall to avoid food IN the classroom).  

 

So you want to ban all science experiments that use food items, rather than working with your child's teacher to ensure that the things YOUR child needs to avoid are kept way from him/her. You don't want your child to do science experiments with the foods that are perfectly safe for him/her.  nono02.gif

 

School is 7 hours a day here, plus transportation (which for some kids, can add about 30 minutes each way, making it an 8 hour day). For many kids, there is before and after care. I work at a Title I school where many of our students don't get enough to eat at home. We serve breakfast in the classroom to every student. Primary students have a morning snack. Most kids are on free lunch. After school care starts with a snack. Many of our students take home a "snack pack" on Fridays to ensure they have food for the weekend (provided by a church, and always including fresh fruit as well as other items).

 

Everything in your post is about privilege. You think all the kids get "enough" because yours does, and that isn't true.

 

Some of our kids bring in treats to share on their birthdays, but for those kids who teachers think might not bring anything, the teacher brings something in. We've lived all over, and never heard of a no food policy for birthdays, only that the food cannot be homemade.

 

The overload of food that happens at holiday parties in the burbs also doesn't happen here because we just don't have an excess of food. Kids got one treat, and in most classes, those were provided by the teacher.  May be I just live in a poor city, but there are more schools here like the one I work in than there are schools floating in excess sugar (and allergens). The parents don't have time to post on message boards because they are working 2 jobs trying to keep the electricity on.

 

BTW, the focus of the Halloween parties was on what people dressed up as, not the food. (lots of homemade costumes and hand me down costumes)

post #56 of 73

This is NOT about privilege, this is about kids lives be it food allergic, diabetic or pre diabetic with the obesity epidemic.  We are in a Title 1  school as well so I get all those things. There are schools that work around serving these kids food OUTSIDE the classroom in order to keep other kids safe. They can eat outside the room in a designated area that is cleaned off after. 

If your school is Title 1 and may of your kids get free/reduced lunch, why WASTE food in science experiments?  Why show these kids who may not have enough to eat that you can use food and waste it for the sake of experimentation?  What is that showing them yet you accuse me of suggesting things that are privileged?  There are plenty of ways to teach without using food. It may require more imagination but food isn't essential for experimentation. No need to be condescending and shake your head at me and tossing around the "privileged" stuff

 

And yes, there are hundreds if not thousands of school in the US where it is DISTRICT not just school policy that food treats are banned for birthday parties. 

post #57 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by scsigrl View Post
 


If your school is Title 1 and may of your kids get free/reduced lunch, why WASTE food in science experiments?  ...

 

And yes, there are hundreds if not thousands of school in the US where it is DISTRICT not just school policy that food treats are banned for birthday parties. 

 

I don't consider mixing corn starch and water together, or baking soda and vinegar a WASTE of food. They both use food to as a tool to create an interesting learning experience, and I think that children in poverty should get to have all the hands on learning experiences we can figure out for them.  Heck,  last week we cut pumpkins open and examined both the inside and outside with magnifying glasses, so that was also using a food in science. It was very cool and the kids made some great observations, but you would ban such activities because of food allergies. I agree that if we had a kid with a serious pumpkin allergy it would be a bad idea, but we don't.

 

I like to see a link to support your assertion that thousands of districts that have banned birthday treats.

 

We'll just have to agree to disagree. I think that parents of kids with allergies should work with their child's teacher to ensure that their child is safe and included. I think that what it takes to keep children safe can be so specific that setting district wide policies to cover every scenario would seriously limit how much fun kids can have at school because not only would students not be able to do things that would be problematic to their classmates, they also couldn't do things that would be problematic to kids who aren't in their class, or even at their school. You obviously feel different from me, and feel that way very strongly. We don't need to agree.

post #58 of 73
I've never heard of a school banning birthday celebrations or limiting food at parties and that would definitely not go over well here. Schools here suggest considering sending healthy food for celebrations and that doesn't go over well.

Kids in all grades get a snack in the classrooms because they are hungry. Nobody is teased because of their snack they just eat and get back to work. Breakfast is early, lunch is late, and fourth to sixth graders grow constantly so snack in the mornings is important for many kids. I would be very unhappy if my child had to suffer because of a few extremists who think lunch is all kids should need because everyone has a sahp. If you don't want your kid having snack you don't send it. Nobody cares, it isn't something that kids tease about.

My dd's school doesn't ban allergens, they just separate kids eating the allergens and wipe the tables afterwards. This has never been an issue and there are kids each year with allergies to all sorts of things.
post #59 of 73

Sorry if it's extremist to not want your child to see another child die during the course of the school day.  It's easy enough to keep food out of the actual classroom. It isn't a big deal where a life threatening allergic reaction is a big deal. But whatever, why would people who have the "privilege" of not having that worry understand the side of a parent who is worried sick each and every time they send a kid to school and that the phone rings that it could be "the" call. 

 

You can do a google search and see how many schools have banned birthday treats. It goes along with the push for healthy kids overall.  I'm not going to waste any more time or energy when you guys are obviously truly have no interest in seeing the other side. 


I'm not willing to argue this anymore with people who don't care. I have said several times that yes, there are ways to have kids eat at school IF it is necessary. Birthday treats and class parties are not necessary. Via the FAPA these kids are ENTITLED to an education that is safe. Sure there are ways to do this. I am NOT for bans of allergens. I am for reasonable accommodations for these kids.  As always, the bullying attitudes can most often be traces to parents such as you who refuse to give up your need for your latest Pintrest ideas to be delivered to a classroom of kids with no worry if it'll kill someone!

 

:namaste

post #60 of 73
I have no idea what pinterest is or how it's related to bullying. Is this a new unsafe trend?
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