Saturday, April 17, 2010

No Soup For You!

Over there at Atlantic City High school in (surprise) Atlantic City, it seems that some of the kids during one of the lunch periods decided to engage in a food fight. According to the Press of Atlantic City, it was "...a cell-phone-coordinated food fight that broke out during a recent lunch period." Cell phone coordinated? Interesting. Well, at least they're getting involved within their own community. That's something. But here's the thing: As a result of said food fight "Cafeteria workers offered students only cheese sandwiches Wednesday and Thursday as punishment". OK. That's an interesting way of handling it, but I can see the point. If they're going to be throwing around stuff like mashed potatoes and mixed fruit, that's going to make a mess. It's going to make a bigger mess than throwing around bread and cheese, that's for sure. So what's the problem? Of course. Some parent is having a complete cow over this.

Meet Bridgitte Reid. Her daughter attends said high school and was present during the lunch period during which said food fight broke out. She says, "It’s a prison meal. They can’t do this.” They can't? Why...why not? I think they can.

According to the article, "Reid was so enraged after her daughter explained what she ate Wednesday, she eventually argued directly with school officials, marched into the cafeteria and snatched one of the cheese sandwiches for evidence of the “crime.” I'm sure this woman is just a peach to have as the parent of a student at that school. Just a peach.

Now, look, I can understand being upset at having to suffer through a group punishment when you weren't actually part of what went on. And Ms. Reid is claiming that her daughter was not part of the cell phone organized food fracas. And I get that. But when things like this happen, don't the ones who get punished along with the ones that were responsible get kind of pissed off at the perpetrators? Isn't that supposed to do something right there? Besides, I can imagine that it would be a little difficult trying to ascertain exactly who participated in a food fight and who did not. Then again, they seemed to know that it was organized via cell phone, so they must have a fairly good idea. Regardless, I don't have a problem with this sort of group consequence.

According to the superintendent of the district, a one Frederick Nickles, "“It’s been the policy of the school board for many years that if there is a food-throwing incident, what occurs is we will supply the basic food requirement. It’s been effective over the years.” Again, that seems reasonable. Sure, it sucks that her daughter happened to be in that group, but as Mr. Nickles says, "It’s unfortunate, but we are more concerned about the general population.” Ah, if only other things, such as learning, were treated in such a manner.

But here's the thing I don't get. Why is Ms. Reid so upset that her daughter was fed a cheese sandwich? I could see if her daughter was paying full price for the school lunch (I almost doubled over with laughter as I typed that, as I don't think that anything other than a subsidized lunch in school these days is even an option) and was expecting something with a bit more, say, substance to it and was handed a cheese sandwich. But due to the craptastic reporting of the story, the article does not delve into whether or not Ms. Reid's daughter was paying for her lunch or not.

The article also does not question Ms. Reid as to why her daughter did not simply bring a lunch to school. I understand not wanting to eat whatever it is that they're serving in the cafeteria. (My high school cafeteria had some awesome grub. We were the first high school in the district to get a milkshake machine. It's hard to complain about a school lunch that consists of a huge piece of pizza and a chocolate shake.) But if you're not going to like it, bring something from home! It's not that difficult of a concept to grasp. (And I can bet you that there wouldn't have been any complaining if those plain cheese sandwiches had been grilled.)

But, alas, that thinking was completely lost on Ms. Reid, who asked, "Why should my student be forced to eat this? There’s nothing on this. No mayo, no nothing. It’s disgusting.” Hmm. I'm missing the part in the article where they "forced" your daughter to eat the "disgusting" cheese sandwich. Just because there are no other options to choose from other than nothing does not imply that something is forced upon someone. She doesn't have to eat it. And believe me, not eating one lunch that she does not like is not going to cause any long term health problems, for cryin' out loud. But I'm going to guess from her reaction about her student being "forced" to eat the sandwich that she isn't exactly forking over any cash for her noontime sustenance. Then again, the folks over at WPIX-TV, used the term "forced" in their story and in their headline, once again demonstrating that the media sucks.

People like this amaze me. You know what else amazes me? How Ms. Reid bears a striking resemblance to Urkel.

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1 comment:

PhoebeH said...

Though I hate to see the innocent punished for someone else's misbehavior, I agree that in a "mob psychology" case like this the naked cheese sandwiches for everyone was an inspired idea. The next time someone wants to start a food fight they might meet some resistance or at least lack of interest.

And it would be interesting to know if the (mayo-less!) sandwich that so enraged Bridgitte & mother was a gift from taxpayers.