Selling out our kids

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Monday, October 14, 2002

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I have been reading your articles on school lunches at JDHS (Empire, Oct. 13). The entire situation is appalling. That our society does not support children more is very shocking. When I went to public schools, between 1948 and 1960, we had gym five days a week, every year. We had nutritious meals served in the school cafeteria. There were no pop dispensers in the halls and although we joked about the Jell-O and the pasta, they didn't sell junk food. It was expected that the community supported the schools so that the schools could offer the children healthy choices. Our dispensers sold apples and milk for between-meal snacks for growing children.

Today's society doesn't seem to be able to support its children well at all. In many schools the lack of gym classes and the inundation with junk food that you mention are only the tip of the iceberg. Textbooks are published by corporations, who bend the text to further their agendas. Ads are in the school halls. Product tie-ins are sold in the schools. One poor kid in the Lower 48 even got in trouble with his school for wearing a Pepsi shirt on Coke day, for which event the school was being well paid.

When we, as citizens, do not amply supply our children's needs, we leave them wide open for target marketing by corporations who are never concerned with the good of the child, and always with the bottom line. That they are being fed food which will rot their teeth and ruin their health is not important to these people. The sad thing is, apparently it isn't important enough to our government to do anything about it, either.

I think it is time that we started voting for people who will support the schools and not leave them in the situation where they must deliver our children to the corporations in order to provide anything at all. That the corporations are allowed into the schools at all, in any way, is a disgrace. It says our elected officials don't care enough, we as voters don't care enough, and the most precious segment of our population, the children, are up for grabs.

Joycelyn Ward


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