Saturday, March 2, 2013

Why can't I bring cupcakes to school for my child's birthday?

Cupcakes...Who doesn't like cupcakes? Several years ago when I was teaching, there was a policy put in place at my school that banned cupcakes or non-nutrious snacks from the school building. Parents would bring two dozen cupcakes purchased at the local grocery store to school for their child's birthday. When the parents signed-in at the school office, they were told that cupcakes did not meet the nutrition guidelines. The parents took the cupcakes home and the child did not have cupcakes to share as a snack that day for his/her birthday.

Next, a policy was set forth by the school that prohibited non-store food items from being brought to school. The reason provided was that the school was not able to guarantee the sanitation of the food that the parent was providing. Therefore, only store bought or pre-packaged food items were permitted.

Since then, there has been a law passed in the Texas legislature in the Texas Education Code that allows any kind of food item to be brought by a grandparent or family member to any school event or birthday celebration. Although, it is not a very well known law that many people are aware of:
 "Lauren's Law": http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.28.htm

Therefore, I am providing information in case anyone comes across a similar situation when I wanted to bring our family's baked good to my child's holiday party.  (names have been changed)

Below is the email correspondence between the classroom teacher and myself:

>>> Kishrussell 12/11/2012 8:57 PM >>>

Ms. M,

I am X's mom and I want to send a homemade treat that our family makes for the holidays for X's class party. I noticed that the flyer that went home stated "all food/drinks must be store packaged". My concern is that this rule is contrary to the Texas Education Code under Subtitle F Curriculum, Programs & services:Chapter 28, SubchapterA Section 28.002, l-3(1) known as "Lauren's law" states:
The State Board of Education, the Department of State Health Services, or a school district may not adopt any rule, policy, or program...that would prohibit a parent or grandparent of a student from providing any food product of the parent's or grandparent's choice to :
(A) children in the classroom of the child of the parent or grandparent on the occasion of the child's birthday or
(B) children at a school designated function.

I would appreciate your consideration.

Thank you,

KR


Dear Mrs. R, 
As per XXISD central office, in order to bring a baked item from your home you must first provide a list of ingredients and where all ingredients were purchased before the item can come into the classroom next Friday. We have many food allergies in our class and this must all be checked and addressed through our school's nurse. 
Thank you, 
Ms. M 
What do you think? Do you think think the teacher's response meets the requirement of Lauren's Law?

2 comments:

  1. It seems interesting that the school would need to check the ingredients of your homemade food when they do not know what is put in the store-bought item ahead of time.

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  2. Is a cupcake worth risking the life of a child that is severely allergic to it? Some children can't even be in the same room as certain foods. This Lauren's law is risking lives of children just so parents can boast to others how great of a baker they are.

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