By Bill Maher
New Rule: Stop telling kids how to live. Certainly Michelle Obama has the right to encourage them to eat healthier and to get more exercise. But what about our kids’ right to be big, fat, ignorant tubs of goo? To those who would mandate healthier school lunches or require students to participate in some sort of physical activity other than banging their teacher, I would pose this question: "Why do you hate freedom?"
There were a couple of stories in the news this month about school students and administrators pushing back against the do-gooder wellbeing police and their overzealous attempts to get kids to eat right and exercise. Sure it's a noble endeavor to promote wellness, but since when is it our public schools' job to shape our youth and prepare them for a healthy, successful life?
The first story was about high school students nationwide boycotting the new, healthier, calorie-counted school lunches implemented by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk are fine in theory, but kids want their pizza, their pudding and their chicken nuggets. Plus, they get all the exercise they need pumping that nacho cheese dispenser.
One senior at a Brooklyn high school said, "Now there's no taste, no flavor and it's healthy, which makes it taste even worse," which might explain why his protesting classmates have taken to dumping their "gross" fruits and vegetables on the cafeteria floor. Take that, nutrition!
The second story is about a JV football coach in Iowa who overheard one of his players bad mouthing the varsity team so, as a lesson, he had the kid run laps. You know, like coaches have done since the beginning of time. Well, the coach has been suspended for violating the district’s anti-bullying and corporal punishment policies. Mike Dick, the state's Girls High School Athletic Union executive director said, "Good common sense would indicate we're past using conditioning and running in a punitive manner," adding it's "vindictive in nature." What if the child gets winded or, worse yet, healthy?
A few phrases from my childhood come to mind. Phrases like, "If you get hungry enough, you'll eat." And "You don’t like it? Tough." And "I'll give you something to boycott about." Of course we shouldn't bully or abuse children, but since when did that translate into they should never be put out or never be uncomfortable and always get what they want?