I'm going to side with the Keyes teachers on this one.
They don't want to participate in the Breakfast in the Classroom program. Good for them because any push back against the nanny state is fine by me.
The teachers have balked at participating again with having breakfast served in the classroom, which takes up 15 to 20 minutes of instructional time.
Can we let teachers teach and not become waiters and waitresses?
I get that kids do better in school when their stomachs are filled. No argument there. But when did it become acceptable for parents to send their kids to school hungry? In the world I was familiar with, it was the parents' job to meet the needs of their children before they got to school. In a day in which the government doles out food stamp EBT cards like crazy, and the availability of faith-based food pantries, there's really no excuse for any American to not feed their kids breakfast at home. How much effort and expense could it cost to sit a child - the most precious commodity of any household - down to a bowl of sweetened or unsweetened oat meal or cereal and maybe a piece or toast or fruit? How much cost and effort would it take to send along a tuna sandwich, a banana and some milk, for lunch? My memory is strong of opening up my lunch pail in the 1960s at Catherine Everett School in Modesto to those items and those smells.
Because Keyes is already an economically depressed district, students are given free breakfast in the cafeteria. "Free" breakfast for all = the taxpayers foot the bill. The Keyes district superintendent states that kids aren't taking advantage of the free breakfast before school so bringing food to the classroom makes sense.
So do I have this right?: It's not enough that free breakfast is being offered by the Keyes district because the kids and/or parents cannot get themselves to the cafeteria before school starts at 8 a.m. Why does this not surprise me?
I wrote a column in 2011 in which I criticized this concept of government supplied "free" breakfasts for all students and cited then Ceres Unified School District Asst. Supt. Fred Van Vleck as saying "when we're dealing with 80 percent who qualify for free lunches, many parents are not feeding their children (breakfast). That's a reality."
It's kind of a catch 22 situation: Parents don't feed their own kids so the government will; but if the government does, the parents never will.
I'm always questioning the quality of parents today. I could spend a whole column as to why I think parents miss the mark but part of this problem is the tendency to fall back into the social network because it's easier. It's almost as if parents don't recognize they are responsible for their children because the nanny state has taken over for them. The vast majority of Americans have grown dependent on government like a meth addict depends on his drug and thieving ways.
We're accustomed to government kicking us out of the driver's seat of our lives and relegating us to the back seat. And we let them every time we elect someone to office who has adopted the mindset that an over-reaching government is okay. It's not okay.
It is not okay for government to tell you that you can't give your kid a happy meal if you happen to visit McDonald's.
It's not okay for government to tell you that can't circumcise your baby boy.
It's not okay for government to provide parenting classes.
It's not okay for government to restrict women from breast-feeding their infants in public.
It's not okay for government to dictate the contents of a snack vending machine.
It's not okay for government to order motel operators to use fitted sheets over flatted sheets.
It's not okay for government to tell you that you can't smoke on a beach (if you take care of the butts), or in your car or your home.
It's not okay for the government to tell you that you can't ride in the back of a pickup.
It's not okay for the government to begin talk about 24/7 public boarding schools.
It's not okay for the government to limit the size of sodas that a store sells.
It's not okay for the government to tell you that you must immunize your kids or else.
It's not okay for the government to force a kid to wear a helmet when riding a bike.
On and on it goes.
Government has grown so big it's a monster that thinks it can dictate whatever it wants! And we most certainly are to blame as willing accomplices! It is our job to keep things in check and we have been allowing this to happen. Benjamin Franklin was credited with being asked "Well, Doctor, what have we got-a Republic or a Monarchy?" and he replied, "A Republic, if you can keep it." Instead, our complacency paves the way for the Trojan horse - the insidious politician whose power thrives off of giving to create a dependency to attract allegiance of voters who receive.
Most Americans are content in a pasture of bleating sheep, led around by the ever watchful shepherd of government to show them where, when and what to eat and protect them because they are too stupid and helpless to care for themselves.
Too many Americans enjoy playing sheep because being a sheep requires little effort. A sheep escapes hard work and responsibility. You don't have to think when someone else is always thinking for you. Sheep endorse the idea of stealing from the one who has more (he earned it), so it can be given to them (who didn't earn it). Far too many want equal outcomes, not just equal opportunity. If someone is successful, they want them taxed heavily just to make things fair. Well, if you want fair, go to Turlock in July.
While government makes "sheep" feel secure, in reality sheep are shackled in movement and liberty. It reminds me of many of the thousands of slaves who were emancipated by Lincoln only to choose to stay on their masters' farms because they were too comfortable being "cared" for.
It's a nice thought that Keyes wants to help. But when half of American households are not paying taxes at all, can't parents supply a basic need like breakfast and give taxpayers a break?
The taxpayer and generations of taxpayers to come are being buried with debt since the government is spending more than it takes in. Elected officials are going crazy with our credit card when we can't pay the bills. When I wrote my column in 2011, the U.S. government's debt clock reached $14.6 trillion. Today it is $18.2 trillion and climbing. That's a debt of $56,824 per U.S. citizen!
We can't afford to be the nanny state and we should not want a nanny state. Every liberty loving American needs to say enough is enough. Let us take care of ourselves and let us keep more of our money as we do it.
How do you feel? Let Jeff know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org