BURLINGTON, Ky. – It’s your birthday. Have a bookmark.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the school within the Boone County, Kentucky system ban banned cake, ice cream and any other food for birthday celebrations.
“Non-food treats are still allowed. The policy gives as examples pencils, erasers, bookmarks,” the paper reports.
“We’re finding its difficult to be the first,” says parent Valerie Bailey, who’s son goes to Burlington Elementary and helped write the policy.
As part of the regulations, schools are required to create a “wellness policy” that dictates snacks and fundraisers.
“Parents say it’s not fair. But we hope it sends a message to the parents and kids, especially with the obesity rate being so high, and puts a bug in their ear.”
“It’s not up to us to tell parents what to do,” school wellness employee Kathy Reutman tells the Enquirer.
“But when children are in our care we make sure that nothing gets in the way of them and their learning. Food allergies or too much sugar get in the way of that.”
School employees claim there were as many as three birthday celebrations some days and it was too much.
But their bigger emphasis is on obesity and complying with the rules from Washington, D.C.
“There was quite a bit of push back the first week,” Bailey says. “But once people started seeing the reasoning for it and realizing there were other options, they’re starting to get creative and find alternatives to still celebrate birthdays.”
One option floated by the school was to have a “jump rope” party where instead of eating cake, the kids would jump rope. Yum.
The nearby Forth Thomas district has dropped out of the National School Lunch Program, foregoing the federal reimbursements, but retaining local control.