- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 2, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As if teachers and school personnel don’t already have their plates full of bureaucratic red tape, consider these scenarios.

Your daughter, who’s in grade school, forgot her lunch and didn’t tell you until the lunch bell rang. What do you do?

Ding! There’s an app for that. “Use Uber Eats to order a Happy Meal from McDonald’s,” you text her.

Your son, a high school senior, likes Panera’s strawberry poppy seed salad with chicken and asks if you wouldn’t mind bringing him one for lunch because the pizza on the school menu is always dry.

Ding! “Order it for deliver on the app, sweetie,” you reply by text.



Then, the logistical chaos ensues: School resource officers, teachers and students are clamoring to discern Uber from Lyft drivers, GrubHub deliverers from the dad honking the horn and waving an Avengers bag in his hand.

Elsewhere, there’s frantic talk of another sort going on among your local leaders, who, with unions at their backs, are pressing for more tax dollars to subsidize school feeding programs — food that schools often toss in the trash at the end of the day because kids don’t want to eat it because they’re not hungry, “it had eggs in it,” “that’s not how my dad makes it,” “it looks yucky” or “I hate broccoli.”

Stop the madness. It’s breeding a generation of “food elitists” that they, their parents and their grandparents will be unable to — borrowing an overused word — “sustain.”

For starters, what’s happened to school security? Campuses across the country are running amok trying to sort students’ food deliveries and, by doing so, are supplanting security concerns — which have been at the forefront since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

Food delivery is the new trend.

“Red Clay Consolidated School District spokeswoman Pati Nash said meal delivery apps have become more and more prevalent. But so have school safety concerns,” The Associated Press recently reported. “[Ms.] Nash said that allowing ‘random people to bring Thai food is not part of the safety plan.’”

That’s a point of view in Delaware.

Detroit-area schools have had enough, too: “We view it as a safety concern,” said Diane Blain, spokeswoman for Chippewa Valley Schools in Macomb County, Michigan. “Having strangers and people that we don’t know coming to our buildings with delivery bags, we just don’t allow it.”

Common sense goes a long way toward ensuring safety for students and faculty, right?

The kids like the convenience. But what they are not thinking about is the safety risks — strangers on campus, vehicular and pedestrian accidents, poisoned foods, distracted authorities.

Some school districts and individual schools are banning food deliveries. Smart.

What would be smarter, however, is for someone in the students’ households to make the students’ lunches or require the children to eat the schools’ food. Lord knows our taxes pay for it.

Foremost is to nip the trend in the bud so it cannot become a new norm — using school personnel as if they are Sonic diner carhops.

And for those who say let kids do their thing, remind them who’s the adult.

Better yet, show them.

• Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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