I've never been a big fan of in loco parentis, the principle that public schools act as proxy parents, and thus deserve wide latitude in monitoring and controlling student behavior. I hated it in high school, and I hate it now--it's been used for all kinds of actions that I think way overstep the state's bounds on personal freedom for minors. Random drug testing for all athletes was bad enough, but since there was a physical safety component, I saw at least some rational argument. Which made it all the more outrageous that it spread to all students who wanted any activity, even chess or Spanish club. California's Attorney General thinks it's wacko, too.
But do our kids have the right to eat and drink a lot of crap in government schools? More specifically, do they have the right to eat and drink the crap our government sells to our kids? If there was ever a compelling state interest in becoming a nanny on food and nutrition, it would be the the sharp increase in adolescent Type II diabetes. And again in California, someone with a little authority agrees: Arnold "I Did Steroids When We All Thought It Was OK" Schwarzenegger. While taking time out from his busy schedule to lecture on repetition schedules for maximizing your delts, the Goobernator also spoke up on childhood obesity, explaining that he wanted to ban ALL junk food, and stock machines with fruits, vegetables and milk.
Beyond the logistical impossibility of the California state educational system managing the machine vending of perishable products, Ahnold's handlers were quick to disown the literal statements made, but they did salute the legislative bill that would ban soda sales, and expressed an interest in broadening the restrictions.
Let's hope Coke and Frito Lay don't unleash the dogs before this gets momentum, but I suppose I shouldn't bet on it. But my point tonight is, what's your state doing?