The school lunch police nab a four year-old.

Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, February 24, 2012.

Jazlyn Zambrano is four years old. She attends pre-school at the West Hoke Elementary School in Hoke County North Carolina. Recently, Jazlyn’s mother Diane picked her up from school only to learn that the sack lunch that Diane had packed for little Jazlyn had been taken from her. An official had come through the school for the purpose of inspecting student lunches. The official apparently had the authority to rule on any lunch that didn’t pass nutritional muster, and dispatch the owner of the offending lunch to the school cafeteria to either supplement it or replace the lunch altogether.

So why didn’t Jazlyn’s lunch measure up? According to Ms. Zambrano, Jazlyn’s lunch consisted of a cheese and salami sandwich on a wheat bun with apple juice.

Two things seem immediately apparent from this short list of facts. One, Diane Zambrano is a good mom. Rather than avail herself of the free or reduced-price lunch that has become the norm on most public school campuses (including those right here in Tyler, Texas where this piece is being written), Ms. Zambrano took the time to go to the store, buy the groceries and then get up on that school morning to make lunch for her little girl.

Second, it seems likely that Jazlyn likes cheese and salami sandwiches. I think Diane Zambrano made a cheese and salami sandwich for Jazlyn because she believed that Jazlyn would actually eat it rather than trade it or throw it away. The lunch that your child never eats is the least nutritious of all. (See an earlier story on school lunches in Los Angeles here.)

But none of this cut any ice with the school lunch police. So little four year-old Jazlyn was sent straightaway to the state-approved school cafeteria and a memo from the school was sent home to Ms. Zambrano.

Now, you’re asking, what did Jazlyn find in the school cafeteria that passed the nutritional muster that her salami and cheese sandwich on a wheat bun failed? The answer: chicken nuggets, a sweet potato, bread and milk.

Absurd, I know. But if you get in the weeds about the merits of chicken nuggets versus cheese and salami on a wheat bun, you’re completely missing the point.

If we here in the land of the free have arrived at the place where bureaucrats are being hired by the state to pull snap inspections on the sack lunches of pre-school children, we’re not nearly as free as we’d like to think. We know from the story the names of Diane Zambrano and her daughter Jazlyn. But the “official” who confiscated her lunch is nameless, faceless and soulless — a minion of an overweening nanny state.

And if the state has arrogated to itself controlling say in what Ms. Zambrano packs in her own child’s school lunch — hitherto unthinkable — how long before that say extends into Ms. Zambrano’s home? And then into your home?

How long before you are called to a meeting at the school with the principal, the school nurse and some school district nutrition expert, all as a result of the school having downloaded from your kid what you and your family eat? How long before that troika of bureaucrats institutes a “nutritional audit” of your home, backed by the authority to impose upon you mandatory nutritional standards that you must maintain under threat of fine or more serious sanction?

Put very simply: at the point where the state gains the power to confiscate the school lunch of a four year-old, where exactly will the encroachment on individual liberty end?

To borrow from Sarah Palin, how wee-wee’d up would you get if the state started telling you what to pack in your kid’s lunch?

For the sake of the republic, I’d sure like to believe pretty darned wee-wee’d up.

I’d sure like to believe.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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3 Responses

  1. C M Solomon says:

    Quoting from Paul’s key question: “At the point where the state gains the power to confiscate the school lunch of a four year-old, where will the encroachments on individual liberty end?

    I have an answer, for what its worth. This will not end until the entire “Bill of Rights” and most of the Constitution is re-interpreted to reflect the RELIGION of the far-Left radicals that are, in fact, Marxists. Mr. Obama and his flock will continue to lie, deceive, and misrepresent his dogma, and purchase, destroy, or demonize anybody or anything that conflicts with his Marxist Utopian religion.

    Obama is a deceiver of the first order because he knows that TRUTH is not on his side. Without any control of his power-mad exploits, he could easily be on the order of the worst despots that this country has ever known. How many narcissists that have reached his level of power have ever cured themselves? He will stop at nothing to micro-manage every person, corporation, industry, church, religion or school until total adherence to his dogma is achieved.

    He is in the early stages of self-worship and is no different from the megalomaniac dictators that ultimately spawned some of the most depraved regimes in all of human history. All of these wicked men suffered for a total lack of humility and had an arrogance of unlimited worship in themselves.

    To put it simply, Mr. Obama has the opinion that he was elected to be Obama-the-Great, a new idol to whom we must all bow and pledge allegiance. He is only trying to achieve Social Justice and that gives him the right to supersede the Constitution and consider it obsolete. Anyone that disagrees with his religion is a heretic and will be destroyed.

    My opinion is not based on what we know about his history (which is pathetic), but is based on his actions that clearly show his utter disregard, disrespect, and lack of reference for the Constitution that he swore to uphold.

    If this imposter is re-elected, we who are sons and daughters of those who suffered and died to defend and establish Liberty as we know it, had better plan on capitulation or – – – – – – – . How do you correct a rogue and lawless regime whose power is unlimited? How can we count on the next election when half of the country is dependent on government largess and is scared to death of their financial future?

  2. L Miles says:

    Where else would the Federal government want to usurp the rights of the parents over their children, other than to have ultimate control over the child’s diet? If the Federal government is already ultimately responsible for the child’s prenatal care, successful birth, health care, education (sex and otherwise), hygiene, housing, clothing, transportation, career and political development, then why question their deeply help concern for their kindergarten lunch box?

    The Feds don’t need to threaten the object of their affection, they are allowed to micro-manage the lives of their targets because the power of their position represents management by intimidation all by itself.

  3. Shared Prosperity says:

    The Progressive/Socialist agenda has for the most part been accepted by the American people since the Depression and the FDR era that brought relief to a nation where Capitalism had utterly failed. It is time for the radical, right-wing Conservatives to accept the idea that we are a society that is economically and socially linked where a safety net and progressive tax system is designed to provide the Social Justice that makes us a caring and civilized nation.

    The Courts, the Legislature and the Executive branches of this country have established a fundamental set of rules based on freedom of choice, established by law, independent of religious dogma, i.e., “separation of church and state.”

    Whether you like it or not, a woman has OWNS her body; it is HER PROPERTY and no one can force her not to have an abortion if she wants one. The unborn fetus is the PROPERTY of the mother until the end of a normal and successful birth cycle. The Federal government guarantees this right of choice by the mother. After successful birth, the child is no longer the PROPERTY of the mother. However, the child’s proper care (food, shelter, and clothing, schooling, etc.) is ultimately protected and guaranteed by the Federal and State governments if the mother fails to provide that care as set by regulation.

    Parental rights of the mother are conditional, not absolute. In fact, the ultimate care giver is the Federal government until the child reaches adulthood. Even as an adult, the Federal government is the ultimate care giver if the adult is not able to take care of himself. This is the definition of a civilized society based on Social Justice.

    The current hysteria concerning the “school lunch police” is a failure to recognize the ultimate role as care-taker that the Federal government represents for each citizen. There must be a government role to play in the life of each person to the extent that help is needed. These are the rules that have been in force for decades. You may disagree with the degree and scope of the Federal control, but that control is lawful, nevertheless. You can’t have it both ways, accept aid and reject regulation at the same time.

    If our society is set up to provide aid to those that are needy (by force if necessary), you have to accept a measure of Federal control in order to maintain the standards of Social Justice. You simply cannot accept Federal aid without accepting the regulations that control how and when that aid is dispensed. To that extent you are the PROPERTY of the society at large. We are our brothers’ keeper. This society does not allow the helpless to die in the streets.

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