Am I Overreacting? Advice Needed

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I want to write a letter to Tyler's school but I want your opinion in case I'm making mountains out of molehills.

Tyler has been going to his school since kindergarten. On our first back to school night, his kindergarten teacher told us the school has a policy against sending junk food and candy in lunches. We were also not to send in sweets to celebrate birthdays. His teacher this year reiterated the point saying the school has really cracked down on the birthday treats and asked that if we want to celebrate we send in pencils or some other trinket.

This is an excerpt from the school's Policy and Procedures section on their website:
Students may eat a snack at the beginning of their morning recess and we encourage some type of healthy food, rather than what we refer to as “extra” foods, such as chips and cookies.

In accordance with this policy, we do not celebrate birthdays in classrooms with candy, cakes, cupcakes and sodas. Food and drinks are allowed at other celebration events, however they must follow the [school district] Food and Beverage Guidelines.
I haven't had a problem with either of these policies. I agree with both ad have tried to uphold them . I keep Tyler's lunch relatively junk free. I don't pick out the chocolate pieces in the trail mix and I have sent in Nilla Wafers or Teddy Grahams. I've never sent anything in for his birthday, trinket or otherwise. But, hearing the teacher strongly emphasize the point again at the same time the school brought back Popsicle Friday kinda pissed me off.

We parents can't send anything "extra" to school in an effort to keep the kids healthy, but the PTO can sell popsicles in front of the school every week? And don't even get me started on the crap the PTO allows at the Friday Assembly coffee cart.

I call Bullshit.  

It's not that I want to see Doritos and candy on school grounds every day. I'd also rather the kids get one small cookie or cupcake on a birthday rather than have any more of the Party City junk continue to clutter up Tyler's room (though I do realize multiplying one cookie by 30+ birthdays can easily equal sugar overload).

But, if the school is going to create a written policy asking me not to send in sweets, why should their on campus fund raising be exempt? Two weeks ago I bought a popsicle for Tyler just to see if at least they were selling sugar free ones. Maybe some were but not the kind I bought*.

I don't want to be the buzzkill who put an end to fun on campus but it feels like a blatant double standard. So, am I making too much of this? Should I let it go or send a note to the principal? 

What issues have prompted you to write a letter to your child's school?

*My frustration could also be over Popsicle Friday itself. I think Tyler has only had two because I always say no. I look like the ass who won't let her kid have any treats, which I'm OK with. But I've caught him sneaking money to school and that bothers me. I know I said I'd let up and be more of a yes mom, but I just don't think he needs the 'extra' sugar. There's plenty in his juice boxes, granola bars, fruit leather, peanut butter/jelly etc. etc.


  1. I'm just wading into the crazy culture of the public school system up here in Canada and I think you should feel free to write them a letter. Goodness knows they have no problem telling parents when they aren't happy with us!

  2. I see your frustration, but I'd probably let this one go. I'd also let him have the popsicle on Fridays. Part of it is the popsicle, but part of it is being part of the crowd. It's fun.

    Believe me, there will be some much bigger issues later and you want to save your credibility for whatever that fight is.

  3. I get why the hypocrisy bothers you. I can't stand that type of thing either. I guess you have to ask yourself whether this is a battle you want, or need, to fight. Could you tell them that you are confused by the mixed message, see what their response is, and then respond accordingly?

  4. I'd probably let it go but I am appalled that your school won't let you bring sweets or whatever to school if it is their bday!! I think that is sad!

  5. I feel your pain - completely. 1) it isn't just public schools - neither of the kid's private schools allow treats for birthdays (and it does make me sad b/c I think cupcakes and such on birthday are fun - but *sigh* I guess I understand the sugar overload. 2) I do understand why the hypocrisy bothers you , 3) I think I agree about letting him have some popsicles every now and then - fitting in and having fun with friends is important and finally - don't even get me started on school fundraisers :)


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