Bad Bill of the Week: HB840: Ensuring the Education Bureaucracy Stays Healthy


[note: Can you say NANNY STATE???  Schools need to stick to the 3R’s!]

Posted on April 15, 2011 by Taylor Holgate in Bad Bill of the Week
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There has been a big push at the national level to promote better nutrition and increase exercise for children.  There is nothing wrong with telling kids to eat better and play outside, but North Carolina’s latest legislative attempt to jump on the bandwagon misses the mark entirely.
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House Bill 840: Healthier and Greener Schools Act–sponsored by Reps. Harrison (D-Guilford), Cotham (D-Mecklenburg), Carney (D- Mecklenburg), and Glazier (D- Cumberland)—would dramatically increase the size of the education bureaucracy to enforce unrealistic and expensive requirements.
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There are probably enough bad ideas in HB 840 to feature it as a Bad Bill of the Week for at least a month.  This bill seeks to take control of every aspect of a child’s health down to the sodium content of every meal. Dissecting every detail of this lengthy bill could fill a book, but that is not our intent here. Instead, you can get a flavor of the mind-numbing micro-managing involved in the bill with an outline of some of bill’s requirements and mandates. They include:
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  1. A requirement that each local school administrative unit establish a facility to prepare, process, grow and store healthy and nutritious foods for schools and nonprofit organizations. Does this mean that N.C. schools will be in the farming business?
  2. A requirement that public schools offer free breakfasts to all students, not just the ones that qualify for free and reduced lunches.
  3. Taste tests and surveys to determine student preferences for the contents of their free breakfasts.
  4. A requirement that schools promote healthy eating to students, faculty, staff and parents. The bill, however, exemps food provided to staff from nutritional requirements.
  5. A fine of $500 dollars a day for schools that offer snack food that fails to meet nutritional requirements.
  6. Strict adherence to prescribed physical activity requirements.
  7. Establishment of an environmental programs office within the Department of Public Instruction to develop plans for recycling, composting, and using “green” cleaning supplies.
  8. Establishment of a School Gardens Program within the Department of Public Instruction to study school gardens.
  9. A requirement that public and charter schools establish and operate school health centers, the bill does not define the role of the proposed centers.
  10. Creation of the Healthy Youth and Schools Commission to advise the General Assembly on schools.
The state doesn’t need to be spending money on monitoring to the milligram student’s nutritional intakes or building even more bureaucracy to study school gardens at a time like this (or at any time for that matter).
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House Bill 840 is the “Bad Bill of the Week” because it distracts from the real goal of the public school system: educating children.
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This article was posted in Bad Bill of the Week by Taylor Holgate on April 15, 2011 at 8:03 am.
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About Christine

I believe in the CONSERVATIVE principles and values of the Republican Party as they are written, and not how they are currently practiced by today's RINO's. Smaller government, lower taxes, more personal responsibility, states' rights, free market capitalism, and less government intrusion in our lives!
This entry was posted in Caldwell County Democrat Party, Caldwell County NC, Caldwell County NC GOP, NC House, NC Senate, NCGOPCON and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bad Bill of the Week: HB840: Ensuring the Education Bureaucracy Stays Healthy

  1. Gordon Ipock says:

    I find a lot to like in this proposed legislation. Go to an elementary school and half of the children are already overweight. Many are already obese! Getting these children into healthy exercise and off the fattening junk food sounds like a good idea — especially since conservatives refuse to offer them socialized health care. If children are severely overweight at age 10 there is a good chance they will struggle with weight problems all their lives. This kind of lifestyle is one reason health care costs are exploding in America with about half the population already diabetic and suffering from high blood pressure before age 40. Fat people also often require expensive knee and hip-replacement surgery by middle age.

    Plus, there is a good chance the economy will collapse in the next ten or twenty years. Very few people will know anything about growing their own food. Teaching children gardening skills in public school could save their lives at some point.

    Granted, this could be considered intrusive; but clearly most children cannot understand the need to avoid junk food or discipline themselves to avoid it. Parents should be telling their children they can’t have chips and candy all the time and to eat fruits and vegetables instead — but most parents today are junk-food addicts, too. When people are this irresponsible the awful Nanny State becomes necessary.

    • Christine says:

      Gordon,
      “I find a lot to like in this proposed legislation. Go to an elementary school and half of the children are already overweight. Many are already obese! Getting these children into healthy exercise and off the fattening junk food sounds like a good idea — especially since conservatives refuse to offer them socialized health care.”

      Feeding students is not the job, or should not be the job, of public schools. You are talking about Nanny State-type government overreach in your comment above. Parents can pack, or should pack, THEIR OWN CHILDREN a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! They do not need low-calorie desserts, low-sodium side snacks, etc… that junk only leads to obesity. If the government doesn’t do it [offer free lunches], then parents will have to. This is social / community issue, not a school legislation issue.

      “Fat people” are not all completely unhealthy, as you infer. Some “fat people” are happy and healthy. Some “fat people” make many choices that contribute to their fatness. Why is it the government’s job to police citizens’ weight. Interesting historical point, Hitler did that. I don’t want to live in a state where we monitor weight, exercise, and diet of citizens.

      You said it, “When people are this irresponsible the awful Nanny State becomes necessary.” NO IT DOESN’T!!! When people become irresponsible, they should fail. Depending on the situation, if “they fail”: they will go out of business, become fat, fail in school, get divorced, crash their car, go hungry, etc… Personal responsibility is personal!

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