School District Looks To Birthday Cakes For New And Exciting Thing To Ban

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A school district in an affluent New Jersey suburb has outlawed birthday cakes, cupcakes and other birthday sweets from all school parties.

Officials with the Warren Township school district (“Shining Brighter Every Day”) have instituted the new ban because, they say, too many kids have food allergies and could become violently ill in the face of a cupcake. Also, school nurses take too much time scrutinizing delicious treats.

“The school nurses were involved in helping us look at the hours they spend determining whether or not the birthday party foods are appropriate for the class, given allergy concerns,” interim superintendent Elizabeth Nastus, who fancies herself a doctor, told the Echoes-Sentinel, a local newspaper. “Those hours spent assessing the food take valuable time away from their daily nursing practice.”

Nastus added that the ban on birthday cakes is not intended to be a limit on fun or excitement.

“This is not an attempt to discourage the birthday celebrations,” she told the Echoes-Sentinel. “It is a way to identify alternative opportunities to celebrate each child’s birthday that are not potentially jeopardizing those students with health or allergy-related issues.”

Nastus sent a letter to parents informing them of the new policy and discussing — in scientific terms — the rise of food allergies among families in the well-heeled Garden State hamlet.

“There was a time when students were identified with fewer allergies. The number and type of allergens were easier to manage,” the superintendent wrote, according to the website TAP into Warren. “Now, as medical science advances, the number of identified allergens and their potential impact on a student exposed to a particular allergen have increased dramatically. Safeguarding a student with allergies is a continuous challenge to both parents and the schools entrusted with the student’s well-being.”

Students in the five schools in the Warren Township district are allergic to more than 30 allergens, Nastus wrote, including “nuts of all varieties, dairy products, legumes, cooked and raw eggs, soy, cherries, red dye#40, gluten, pineapples, sesame seeds, meat products, fish, shellfish, watermelon, kiwis, peas, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, mangos, and plums.”

The schools in the Warren Township school district apparently don’t have cafeterias. They are too luxurious for that. Instead, a parent group buys food from local restaurants and the restaurants provide hot lunches each day.

It’s not clear if any of the meals from restaurants contain meat, fish, kiwis, peas or plums.

The local school board will meet next week to discuss the new policy.

If there’s one thing school officials and school district bureaucrats love to do, it’s finding new and exciting things to ban.

Last year, for example, a San Antonio, Texas mother was furious because officials at her 10-year-old daughter’s elementary school prohibited sunscreen during a field trip. The poor kid came home crispily sunburned. A school district spokeswoman defended the ban because the district considers sunscreen a medication. (RELATED: School Sunscreen Ban Causes 10-Year-Old Girl To Get FRIED On Field Trip)

Also in 2014, a flyer for a Michigan elementary school’s field day attempted to ban competition by warning parents that their children should not try to win any of the events. “Since we believe that all of our children are winners, the need for athletic ability and the competitive ‘urge to win’ will be kept to a minimum,” the flyer threatened. The public-school flyer also promised “a carnival like [sic] atmosphere.” (RELATED: Grade School Field Day Flyer Warns Parents: ‘Competitive Urge To Win Will Be Kept To A Minimum’)

And no one should ever forget the officials at an affluent Rhode Island middle school who tried to ban a traditional honors night because rewarding students who do well is “exclusive.” A couple days later, in the face of embarrassing national ridicule, the officials reinstituted the honors night. (RELATED: School That Banned Honors Night For Being Too ‘Exclusive’ Decides Not To Be National Laughingstock)

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