Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rat Out Your Classmates-Win Prizes!

No matter what you think of school policies on what food students are permitted to bring in, having a junior Stasi force of fellow pupils ready to inspect the sacks looking for contraband is ill considered.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-humber-29422370

And a more detailed story here:
http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/packed-lunch-police-aged-10-enforce-ban-crisps/story-23008046-detail/story.html

Why stop there? Once properly trained, send the youngsters home to call out their parents for drug use, or eating ice cream at breakfast, or holding unpopular opinions. They can earn badges for their efforts at informing. You can go all 1984 or Hitler's Youth and give them smart uniforms and armbands to wear as they carry out their duties.

School aged children are learning how the world works, and how to navigate their way through it. I personally feel a bit of healthy suspicion isn't a bad thing, but this sets up a situation where they learn only to fear. Not the best way to form friendships.

I can imagine what the, "Negative comments" directed at the students doing the checking were.

4 comments:

Connie said...

There is nothing more adorable than a six year old narc.

Bibi said...

I thought the UK was a bit more hip & multicultural than that? I'd hate to hear what the food Nazis would think about my kids' lunch tiffin of lamb momo's (Tibetan steamed dumplings), dal (lentils0 & roti's.

Goody said...

@Bibi

They're multi-cultural. Your kids' lunches would be fine until they got to the roti-but at least they'd know what it was.

We have teachers confiscating lunches here too-this isn't just a UK thing, but we don't have children acting as wardens (yet).

My concern is that this sets up all sorts of room for sanctioned bullying, and that there's a bit of a class issue as well. I've not been to Hull, but if the article in the sidebar about drunken crime being reduced is an indication, there might be some poverty in the area. Come the end of a pay period, a bag of chips and a chocolate bar might be the best the parents can do that day, and the humiliation of having a lunch publicly confiscated by another child...I can't imagine. There's certainly nothing to be gained by this sort of thing, but plenty of resentment to gain strength.

But no, I don't think we're above this sort of thing in the US-it just hasn't come up yet.

Curtise said...

Your point about poverty was just what I was going to say. Hull has been a city in great economic decline. We visited last year, and it's a lovely place with lots of grand architecture which speaks of its illustrious past, and many efforts towards regeneration, but the fact remains that has many areas of deprivation. What kids have in their lunch boxes reflects this. It's not an appropriate role for kids to monitor the food intake of other kids - after all, the children don't have control over their packed lunches. I get the healthy eating agenda, of course I do, but I don't think this plan is the way to bring about change. xxx