Father of “Chicken Nuggets” Pre-schooler Says School’s Version of Events Not Accurate

Rules Lead to Waste and More Changes are on the Way

(RAEFORD) – Hoke County Schools Assistant Superintendent Bob Barnes is telling the media the pre-K student who was forced to supplement her homemade lunch with chicken nuggets must have been confused when she went through the school lunch line. The girl’s father says his daughter never went through a line — the food tray was brought to her table.

This was done under the watchful eye of a mysterious state inspector. The school system told the mother West Hoke Elementary was going through an Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale assessment. Normally those inspections are carried out by someone with the North Carolina Rated License Assessment Project out of UNC-Greensboro under contract to the Division of Childhood Development and Early Education. The assessment is based on a comprehensive evaluation of the schools called the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised. Nutrition is just one segment. Other measurements include teaching appreciation of diversity and health screenings. The same scale is utilized in Europe and Asia. It was determined the girl’s lunch didn’t pass muster with rules drawn up by bureaucratic panels. So a tray of “acceptable” food was placed in front of her. Despite the supplemental food, the school still lost points because other lunches from home didn’t measure up. But no state agency or contractor will own up to being responsible for the assessment or the lunch inspections.

The father says the first thing the girl said to her mother that day when she got home was, “Why didn’t you pack my lunch right?” The girl only ate the chicken nuggets and the rest was thrown out.

Thousands of pounds of good food is tossed in the garbage every day across the state and the nation. Schools have to follow the USDA meal guidelines in order to be reimbursed for the cost of the food. Kevin Campbell runs a pre-K program in Mecklenburg County. He is also a member of the North Carolina Licensed Child Care Association (NCLCCA). Campbell says every program has to report how much food is served to children and the school is reimbursed $1.50 for every meal even if the meal is thrown away. Campbell says he’s known programs to give a child a 50-cent apple, for example, and be reimbursed at the full price of a lunch.

There are even milk audits by the state Child and Adult Care Program. The Executive Director of the NCLCCA, Linda Piper, says state inspectors calculate how much milk each school must purchase for the number of children in the program. The inspectors then check receipts to make sure that amount of milk calculated was bought. Piper says a lot of that milk goes down the drain.

In fact, Campbell says his program pours up to 40 percent of the milk away each day. His staff can’t just place a new carton of milk in front of a child; they have to pour the milk into a glass, so if the child doesn’t drink it, it’s wasted.

There’s a good chance a lot more milk and good food will end up in the trash. On January 25 First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced even higher standards for breakfasts and lunches that schools will have to follow, including a wider variety of vegetables.

Campbell and Piper say the state bureaucrats have come up with a lot of rules that make it difficult to run pre-K programs. For example:

  • There are 15 steps staff members have to follow while changing a child’s diapers, including using a sanitary wipe on the hands of both the teacher and the child before washing their hands.
  • Classrooms cannot contain any books with villains, including those in Disney stories. Books showing sharks or lions baring their teeth are also prohibited.
  • Teachers are timed so children don’t wait longer than three minutes for a meal, an activity, or the bathroom.

The pre-K programs have to follow the rules to receive an adequate rating from a third-party organization and remain eligible for funding. That gives the rule makers great authority over what children eat and learn.

More rule changes are on the way. The North Carolina Child Care Commission is the panel that approves the rules and is holding a public hearing on the new changes February 28.

Among the proposed rules, children will not be served flavored milk, Kool-Aid or even sweet tea. Staff wouldn’t be able to eat or drink anything the children were forbidden to touch.

Under the proposed changes, private child care homes would come under the same nutrition rules as school programs.

The location for the public hearing is the offices of the Division of Child Development and Early Education at 319 Chapanoke Road in Raleigh. The hearing begins at 1:30 in the afternoon.

This article was posted in Education by Matt Willoughby on February 16, 2012 at 4:59 PM.

© 2011 The Civitas Institute. Visit us on the web at www.nccivitas.org.
This article can be found at https://www.nccivitas.org/2012/father-of-chicken-nuggets-pre-schooler-says-schools-version-of-events-not-accurate/

Comments on this article

  • 1

    Jeff Feb 16, 2012 at 17:07

    With every additional rule on child care, the cost of child care goes up. These people have been given free reign for long enough.

  • 2

    Butch Motsinger
    Butch Motsinger Feb 16, 2012 at 17:21

    How much more are we as Americans going to take from these Liberals wanting to take over every aspect of our lives…

  • 3

    Steven Feb 16, 2012 at 18:28

    I don’t care if you are liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between. If this over reach by the government doesn’t piss you off, the country is as good as dead. Simply unbelievable.

  • 4

    Sharon Hartung
    Sharon Hartung Feb 16, 2012 at 18:32

    During the past few years, I visited the local elementary school in Wilmington, NC at least one day every week to have lunch w/ my granddaughter. I have always been appalled at the junk food that is served to the children and erroneously referred to as “balanced meals” and “nutritious lunches”. Well over half of the time, the food consists of main dishes like corn dogs or hot dogs, or pasta w/ sauce, or maybe a couple of fried chicken nuggets. Always lots and lots of starches – simply packed w/ sugars and other carbohydrates and very light on protein. No wonder the schools are full of fat, sluggish kids and hyperactive kids. The free breakfasts are no better, and cafeteria workers have told me that the kids throw scrambled eggs in the trash and eat the sweet rolls. Let’s get the school OUT of the business of feeding the kids and get all of the parents to send lunches. Lord knows they can’t do any worse than the schools and it would save a lot of money.

  • 5

    Glenda Potter
    Glenda Potter Feb 16, 2012 at 22:07

    We have to vote the radicals out in November. That’s our only hope to stop this socialist movement. They are serious about transforming America. If they can get in your childs lunchbox the next step is inside your home.

  • 6

    Cynthia Roberts
    Cynthia Roberts Feb 17, 2012 at 12:06

    Sharon Hartung is absolutely correct in her entire statement.
    School lunches are not healthy. The childs lunch with the turkey and cheese sandwich was a much better choice than Chicken Nuggets.
    Trying to get children to eat better is great but “Big Brother” does not belong in the United State of America. I am thankful that my children are not in school, not I have great grandchildren to be concerned about.
    If the darn state is so concerned maybe they shoud start at day care where children at 13-14 months are forced to try and eat their “soup” with a spoon which they do not have the small motor cordination to do yet by their selves. They are not placed in high-chairs either, but put at a large small table with 6 children. Well lets see who sues first when a child dies due to choking.
    Lets get real, leave the older children alone. They are going to eat what they want and if it’s not cooked properly and taste like garbage it’s going in the trash we as adults would do the same.
    Start with making sure the little ones are taken care of correctly and shown a real balanced diet which does not enclude french toast with syrup, corn dogs and things like that.
    Run Big Brother out this election and parents should take their children back. No government has the right to step in unless a child is being abused in any manner. They sure aren’t paying the childs bills and they did not give birth to them. Most parents want the best for their childre and provide the best they can.

  • 7

    Ihatestupid Feb 17, 2012 at 16:17

    I love how excited you guys get over this non-story. Why just imagine how angry you would get if someone tried to pass a law about your body or policing your bedroom. Oh wait that is the number one thing conservatives do- take our rights away… talk about much ado about nothing. And Sharon and Cynthia how about you join reality. A lot of NC parents cannot afford to pack their kid’s lunches… but I guess those kids should just beg or go hungry… compassion is not a conservative characteristic but selfishness is well represented and fyi
    “We’re not trying to force government down anybody’s throat. All we’re trying to do is make sure that our children get a good education and a nutritious meal every day,” Barnes said. “It comes back to: We had an employee who made a mistake.”
    read it and weep conspiracy theorists.

  • 8

    Ihatestupid Feb 17, 2012 at 16:19

    And Cynthia I am not sure about your kids but mine were eating with a spoon by 10 months

  • 9

    dpitts Feb 17, 2012 at 16:36

    …and we have enough “mistakes” in the “white house”…as a parent…if you can’t feed your kid..why did you have it?? ..because you just didn’t give a d–n.

  • 10

    Irene Feb 17, 2012 at 21:21

    Ihatestupid – you’re missing the point. The government wants to control what they have no business controlling. This was a show for a state inspector. You need to open your eyes and see that our individual liberties are being slowly pulled out from us. Or, you can sit back and thrash your tongue at others who are appalled by this and eventually have your life slowly but surely dictated to you more and more every day. Change your name because it doesn’t fit.

  • 11

    Cindy Feb 18, 2012 at 14:46

    I agree with Irene. ihatestupid needs to change her name to iamstupid! Anyone who does not see that the government is trying to control more and more of our lives has to be stupid. Then again, maybe she likes someone controlling her life and telling what she can or cannot have.

  • 12

    JBSPuddintane Feb 19, 2012 at 20:13

    The stupid people in this situation are the parents.
    If they were not in some kind of stupor, they would do whatever it takes to stop this bullying of their children.
    And I don’t mean complying to bureaucrat-standards.

  • 13

    John Joseph
    John Joseph Feb 21, 2012 at 15:52

    When Reagan was in office his administration changed the requirements for a serving of vegetables to include…..ketchup. I have always found stupidity to be nonpartisan.

  • 14

    Andy Withers
    Andy Withers Feb 22, 2012 at 8:25

    So, we let the schools teach our kids to accept crummy food provided by the school, then the kids watch (they notice these things, you know) as the uneaten food is thrown away. And because the school is populated with “authority figures”, the kids believe this is all as it should be. BUNK!!! This is just one more way for socialist Demwits to get control of everything in our lives, starting with our kids. Please, someone show me the paragraph in the enumerated powers of Article 1 Section 8 allowing the Federal government to play any role whatsoever in education.

    I plan to vote for conservative candidates on May 8th and November 6th. I’ve had all the socialism and hyper-regulation I can stand. They are both killing this country.

  • 15

    Frederick Hartman
    Frederick Hartman Feb 22, 2012 at 8:52

    What really burns me is these “investigations” that turn into whitewashes. I worked 40 years in corporations and the one way to get fired the fastest was to lie about anything or to try to cover over mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. If you make decisions you will make mistakes, but in industry it is imperative to come clean and learn from them. In government we seem to tolerate endless lying and coverups. If government held their employees to the same standards as private industry there would be a lot more turnover – and for the good.

  • 16

    YankeeI Feb 22, 2012 at 9:15

    Gee ihatestupid, isn’t ironic that while you say one thing in your screen name, your responses indicate that you are exactly what you claim to hate. You apparently believe that Goverbnment is smarter than you- or are they just smarter than all the “other” people??

  • 17

    Unbelievable Feb 22, 2012 at 9:35

    This is so sad…. I agree with @Yankeel! What is wrong with folks these days??? They can’t recognize the simplest little item of ‘freedom lost’. This will be taken away one tiny item at a time….like a cancer cell – it will soon take over the entire body of the US.

    All will be lost and then people will say ‘ if only I’d paid more attention to the details…..’ :(

  • 18

    Uncle Tom
    Uncle Tom Feb 22, 2012 at 11:15

    There is a saying about an inch and a mile. The spread of government organizational intrusion has crept an inch at a time into every facet of life in America.
    In my home county, there are boards which determine almost every aspect of building one’s home. Where to drill a well ($386), how to make a foundation, frame, etc. Total cost of permits is $ 3000 to $ 5000. I built my first home, humble as it is, for $ 6500. I made mistakes but have a roof over my head. I could not afford to live here now or build a home. I don’t think that I could stomach dealing with school regs and rules today either.
    The answer is to discharge these boards, groups, organizations and start over again. No matter what the original stated purpose was, they have intruded too far and tweaking the charters would take more than the effort is worth. Start over. Leave them out.
    Teachers should be able to funnel school resources to needy kids and we do not need federal money so that more inspectors can crowd the schools.

  • 19

    K.L.M. Feb 22, 2012 at 13:13

    If I were standing on your toes with no intention to remove my foot, should you stand and bear the pain, complain to the offender, cry, or take action immediately.
    Or maybe just bear it so you can converse about it to others later. – – Even with the grandchild in later times, while the grand children of the one that stood on your toe is standing on the grandchild’s toe.
    It appears we the people love to mouth,accept the unjust and have a chair. Allowing another to come to authority with permission to stand on our heads.

  • 20

    Bob Feb 22, 2012 at 13:46

    I want to know how many of these children who are being provided with breakfast, lunch and now dinner come from homes receiving EBT (Food Stamps).
    People like I hate(AM) stupid are part of the problem. She sounds liek some of the 20 and 30 somethings you find on Huffington Post condemning the intolerant, meaning those who don’t believe as they do. Come on folks! Keep voting for those Democrats and Rinos! Do you like the NDDA law that will allow you to be picked up and held with charge? Have you been to DC and seen how well armored and armed the new Capital Police are? Did you knwo TSA is stopping cars on the Interstates now? How about the firearms treaty the UN wants us to sign giving up our Second Amendment rights? Or the treaty to allow the UN to run the Internet? Are we moving into Fascism? No. We are already there, it’s a matter of degrees now as the Gradualists keep expanding on the little laws they pass that are only a hassle for someone other than yourself. I think I’ll read Huxley’s Brave New World Again. Orwell too.

  • 21

    Donald Feb 22, 2012 at 15:55

    If this is pre-k, the parents can take her out. Do you know we spend approx. $5000 per child for this pre-k? These people needs to pay for their children own child care. Your tax dollars at work. Gov. Pumpkin just found money for 2,000 more children.

  • 22

    OLD TYMER Feb 22, 2012 at 17:15

    The thing about being old is that I probably will not live long enough to see this great nation of ours become a third world country because the freeloaders keep voting for those who believe
    that every thing they want should be GIVEN to them.

  • 23

    Heather N.
    Heather N. Feb 27, 2012 at 18:46

    As a parent of children in the public school system, whos children take their own lunch, I am tired of the government telling me how to raise my children, and now they are gonna try and tell me what to feed my children? UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!! They do not buy my groceries and will NOT tell me what to feed my children. I say NO to the “lunchbox patrol” and their leader Mrs. Obama. When they pay for my groceries(EBT/SNAP), then and only then will they have any right to check what i feed my children

  • 24

    mrssmith May 10, 2012 at 20:38

    All ya’ll are so quick to point out ihatestupid’s stupidity, but you ignore his point, don’t you agree gay marriage laws are just as getting in people’s private business too much just like the outrageous fed. govt. in education? We should be using this as an opportunity to unite! Even if you don’t agree, both repubs and dems want you to keep playing the 2-party game so nothing ever changes!

    Stop hating on each other and let’s unite to restore our freedoms even if we disagree on which are the most important, we’ll only get them back all together!

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