Many of us can remember classroom celebrations that included homemade cookies, cupcakes or other treats brought to school by classmates. Well, those days are over, at least in Fort Mill.
Because of a multitude of food allergies afflicting today’s students, Fort Mill school district officials have decided to ban homemade food from the classroom district-wide. Students still can bring homemade lunches to school, of course, but not food meant to be shared with fellow students.
The new rule requires parents to show some evidence, such as a receipt, store packaging or an ingredient list, to indicate that the food they bring into classrooms is store-bought, not homemade. The policy is designed to prevent children from unknowingly consuming ingredients to which they might be allergic.
The rule change will apply to all Fort Mill schools. Before this, schools had been free to set their own policies.
School officials decided that a uniform policy was needed to ensure food safety. The district will work to get the word out to parents this summer before the first full year under the new policy begins in the fall.
It’s too bad that children won’t be able to enjoy treats lovingly prepared at home. It seems almost contradictory that schools would require students to be fed only mass-produced items from grocery store shelves in the name of nutritional safety.
What about all those additives and food colorings that go into factory-made deserts? Those can’t be good for us, can they?
We wish the district could make an exception for homemade foods if parents could provide a list of ingredients. Wouldn’t that be more informative than a store receipt?
But we suppose the school district wants to make this policy as uncomplicated as possible. Require all the schools to abide by the same rules, and keep it simple.
Marty McGinn, assistant superintendent for curriculum and human resources, said she met with staff from each school and parent liaison groups, and the new policy was met with almost universal support. So, as long as those who will be affected by the policy are happy with it, there probably is no need to quibble.
Still, we’ll never forget those homemade chocolate chip cookies generously prepared and provided by someone’s mom.