Chicago Public School Bans Bag Lunches

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 13, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Jamie Oliver may have set his sights on Los Angeles, but Principal Elsa Carmona has picked up the Food Revolution slack at Chicago's Little Village Academy.

Brown bag lunches are a thing of the past for the school's parents and students. Carmona has banned them from campus.

Chicago Public Schools permits principals to decide how to handle home-packed lunches, reports the Los Angeles Times. While some merely confiscate sugary and salty snacks, Little Village Academy has stopped allowing them altogether.

Instead, children without medical exceptions are required to eat a school lunch whether they like it or not.

The "nots" seem to be winning, according to the paper. Most of the children told reporters that the food is bad and they rarely eat it.

Principal Carmona believes that the students are getting a more nutritional lunch at school, but some parents and children feel otherwise.

The lunch situation at Little Village Academy certainly involves arguments on both sides of the parental autonomy debate. However, it also invokes questions of constitutional law.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that citizens have a fundamental right to rear their children in a way that they see fit. Implicitly, what a child eats is included in this right.

However, as some point out, the right to rear one's child is limited when a child is in danger, and obesity is quite harmful.

As of now, the Court has yet to rule on the government's recent decisions to police children's food, but this would be a wonderful test case.

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