Let Them Eat Cupcakes!

, Don Irvine, Leave a comment

Baseball, apple pie, hot dogs and cupcakes are all symbols of our American way of life. Well now there is a growing movement to ban cupcakes in schools as a way of promoting good nutrition and fighting childhood obesity.

According to a story in The Washington Post this week, the principal of one local elementary school in Alexandria, VA created a local furor when he told the PTA that cupcakes were banned. One parent quoted in the Post said people are angry and that “They think this is really stupid.”

At the same time the now politically incorrect goodies are being banned from classrooms they are enjoying a revival of sorts on the web, television and in bakeries that sell the 4 oz. treat for $2 or more.

Cupcakes aren’t really about the taste or the appearance, but about the memories they evoke of childhoods long ago. Who didn’t have an experience of watching or helping their mother bake cupcakes and devoured them faster than you can say jiminy cricket?
Today with so many working couples and a much busier lifestyle baking cupcakes in the home has largely disappeared except for special occasions like birthdays for children.

Just to be fair the Alexandria school systems wellness policy (a politically correct term if there ever was one) bans only the use of food as a reward or punishment. I never thought about using food as punishment. I can see it now. Some mother out there is telling their son or daughter that if they don’t behave they will have to eat grandma’s meatloaf. Some of the principals took that to including a ban on birthday cupcakes.

The principals and the school system may want to amend their policy before they get a parent revolt like one in West Texas last year. When schools there tried to ban cupcakes it created such a furor that legislators wound up passing the “Safe Cupcake Amendment” to allow parents to bring them to school.

That is probably unlikely to happen since cupcake passion doesn’t run quite as high in Virginia as it apparently does in Texas, but the school systems need to use some common sense instead of trying to be the politically correct nutrition police.

Don Irvine is the chairman of Accuracy in Media.