Schools Discover They Can’t Force Feed Children

It’s bad enough that the government dictates to local school districts what children should learn, when they should learn it, and how they should be tested. It’s bad enough that Common Core robs parents and teachers of individual choice and treats children as interchangeable cogs in the Big Education machine. But to add insult to injury, the government, under the ever-watchful eyes of Michelle Obama, has taken it upon itself to control the diets of American schoolchildren everywhere.

Fortunately, the efforts to force feed kids unappetizing slop in the name of health has backfired with an ineptitude typical of all bureaucracies. A new study reveals that children, forced by law to receive a portion of fruit with their school lunches, have been cheerfully throwing the unwanted portions of their meals in trash cans before even sitting down to eat. Never underestimate the intelligence of teenagers.

For all it’s ill-conceived do-goodery, it turns out government can’t actually control what we eat… yet. Instead, it gets to waste taxpayer money on the purchase of food no one wants to eat, that then gets discarded only to take up space in landfills. I thought these people were supposed to care about the environment?

After making the patently obvious realization that human beings don’t just blindly do as they’re told, meddling social scientists have tried shift tactics in order to “nudge” (read: trick) kids into eating healthier against their wills. These techniques include calling carrots “X-Ray Vision Carrots” and spinach “Super Strength Spinach.” In other words, since they can’t use force to make children comply, they’re going to flat out lie to them. The very concept is more disgusting than a tray full of yesterday’s government-mandated vegetables. This concept of “the noble lie” was popularized by Plato more than two millennia ago to justify a totalitarian system of government, but then as now, there’s nothing noble about deceiving people in order to impose your will on them.

I’d like to propose a radical alternative to centrally micromanaging people’s lives: how about we treat individuals with respect, and recognize that free people in an enlightened democracy should be able to make their own choices? Why not let families decide what diet is appropriate for their children? Surely they have a better understanding of their own needs than the First Lady does. With the insulting paternalism with which government treats its citizens, it’s no wonder parents are abandoning public schools and adopting alternative approaches to education in record numbers.