New Rules Ban Food In Classrooms - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/16/04

New Rules Ban Food In Classrooms

This year marks the end of birthday cakes and candy in Texas classrooms.

That's according to a new state policy beginning this school year. Elementary school teachers can no longer hand out food to students. Parents can only give food to their own children, not to the whole class.

It's all in an effort to fight childhood obesity.

And nearly every teacher at Bonner Elementary School in Tyler is against the new rules. Three teachers didn't mind either way.

There are only three days each school year that teachers can bring snacks like these or any other type of food to class. Those days must be approved by the school district, and the food must directly relate to what's being taught.

"Ridiculous," Debbie Oliver, a 5th grade teacher, said. "To me, it might be saying, let's not have any kind of fun in school anymore."

"These are very strict," Camille Moore, a Bilingual Kindergarten teacher, said. "To me, food is part of being a family."

The two Bonner teachers are preparing for class to start on Wednesday. One thing they won't be preparing is edible treats to reward their students.

"It would be one thing if teachers were constantly bombarding the kids with treats and candy and cokes and stuff like that, but that's not realistic. That's not even happening," Oliver said.

"A lot of us are obese. That's true," Moore said. "But I don't think we're getting obese in the classroom."

As for birthday parties, kids will have to celebrate with either cafeteria lunch food or no food at all.

Among the teachers we talked to today, the only rule they agree with is banning chewing gum on school campuses.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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