Robert A. Teegarden's Blog

September 28, 2012

Michelle Obama’s Food War Should Start in the Teacher’s Lounge

The recent hoopla over Michelle’s Obama’s campaign about school lunches is an appropriate response to a failed attempt to inflict hypocritical expectations on a captive audience (the students).  She should have started in the teacher’s lounge.

Schools are supposed to be places of learning.  That’s what’s advertised.  After all, “it’s for the children.”  But the curricular mush that’s offered in today’s government/union schools is a far cry from the great notions once taught about the wonders of Western Civilization.  These schools seem to spend most of their time on politically-correct issues that decry the fundamentals like reading, writing and arithmetic.  If they did spend their time with those fundamentals, the national test scores would reflect it.  As it is, current testing shows a demonstrable failure.  And it’s getting worse.  Kids get “A’s” in feeling good and political naiveté, but they still can’t read at the 12th grade level.

The best way to influence character is to demonstrate it, model it and teach common sense. But as Voltaire once said, “Common sense is the least common of all the senses.”

Obesity is a problem in America.  But the cause is not the school lunch program.  It’s the very culture that is promoted in schools to begin with.  Have you noticed your child’s “physical education” programs recently?  Only two years of a four-year curriculum are required.  Sports participating can be used in lieu of any PE requirements.  But that’s sports.  Students can take a six week course during the summer to offset requirements during the (10 month) school year.  Options out.  Options out.  Options out.  The curriculum just doesn’t cut it either.  If you keep giving students excuses and opt-outs, no wonder they wonder

There’s a culture on which focus needs attention.  In schools, that culture starts with the example provided by the instructors.  If students see you lie, they lie.  If students witness cheating and fraud, they learn that it’s ok as long as you don’t get caught.  When they witness adults defaming one another, students learn that it’s ok to slam another with no repercussions.  And they surely see a lot of that on most of the media today.   And it comes from the top down.  Case in point: seventeen teachers and administrators were caught red-handed changing test scores in order to falsify gains made.  What happened to them?  Nothing.  Did they loose their teaching licenses and pensions?  No.   What’s a student to do?

When the government instituted the famous D.A.R.E. programs, they also instituted the now infamous Drug-Free Schools campaign.  It was simple: no drugs are allowed on this campus.  It made sense.  It seemed simple enough.  But did it apply to the caffeine-laden Pepsi’s and Coke’s, coffee, tea or cigarettes in the teacher’s lounge?  Of course not.  “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Now Michelle Obama wants to impose standards to the kids that don’t apply to the teachers.  Note the picture of the recent teacher’s strike in Chicago.  The teachers’ union should impose regulations about the health and well-being of their teachers BEFORE they preach to the students.  Ben Franklin once wrote, “A good example is the best sermon.

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