7-YEAR-OLD BROOKLYN GIRL ON LIFE SUPPORT AFTER CHOKING ON LUNCH AT SCHOOL
Our hearts go out to this family. No one should have to endure this suffering.
Common core didn’t “cause” this horrible tragedy. However, the idea of rigor that cuts a child’s lunch period to twenty minutes, less time than adults at a paying job get for their lunch, is partly to blame. These parents say this child was rushed to eat daily. So many children are coming home now with half or more of their lunches, saying they had “no time to finish”. Lining up to buy lunch is also taking up half the eating time, and cleaning up as well. Where are the child rights groups?
“Rigor, grit, and tenacity” alone, did not cause this to happen. It was a tragic accident. But, the negatively changed educational landscape and culture of ridiculous expectations for young children is going to lead to consequences.
What has happened to lunch and recess? Younger children often fumble with their lunch boxes and take longer to unpack, eat, and clean up. Special needs children are out of luck entirely. The twenty minutes they get under the new guidelines of “rigor” and focus on test prep and scores, is UNHEALTHY.
They also rush out for their scant recess, as most are told, ‘here is your twenty minutes to eat and get fresh air, use it as you wish.’
Children do not necessarily have the proper judgement to meter their time appropriately. Healthy eating habits, and socialization and exercise have become mutually exclusive.
One New York parent writes:
“Because of teaching to the test and the constant drilling of lessons, there is no time for recess, down time, breaks or anything else except for during their lunch period. So between lining up, waiting in line for lunch, and being forced to go out for recess they have almost no time to eat. (And) my oldest had a 9:45 am lunch period!! How exactly is that considered lunch!!”
These accidents may increase due to this unrealistic expectation of young children. We will also likely see a rise in childhood obesity, due to sitting all day for test prep.
We cannot blame common core for what happened to this poor, poor child. What we can say, is that the culture of rushing children to shove more “rigor” into their day than what is expected of adults, is an accident waiting to happen.
And with all the money being poured into Pearson, why does any school not have choking procedure trained lunch staff?
Another parent writes;
“It does relate to budgets and not having enough money to pay staffing. There should be more adults to assist kids.. Gd forbid a 6 year old drop their tray on the way out.. the wait is even longer because there is nobody there to clean up. But do we added on two or three lunch aides or keep a music or gym teacher? Decisions decisions.”
There is this:
5 Reasons the Common Core Is Ruining Childhood.
“Inadequate time to socialize: You know what’s really taken a hit in recent years? Recess. Some schools don’t have it at all. Recess is when kids truly practice social skills. They take turns. They negotiate. They initiate friendships. They learn to cope with disappointment. Sometimes they work together. Sometimes they don’t. But either way, they learn to work it out. But not if they don’t have recess.
Poor eating habits and insufficient exercise: You can’t turn on the TV or open a magazine without hearing about obesity in America these days. It’s a problem. And yet, a school lunch is often 15-20 minutes long, forcing kids to wolf down food before the bell rings. So much for listening to hunger cues and chatting with friends — there is no time for that.”
The incredible Shrinking Lunch:
“Many school districts, feeling the intense pressure created by standardized testing, continue to shortchange students when it comes to giving them adequate time to eat.”
“RW: Kids who aren’t given adequate time to eat lunch, often go hungry. School lunchrooms can be among the most unpleasant places to spend one’s time for a variety of reasons. Kids are often herded into the cafeteria like cattle, refused water from the nearby fountain, told to not socialize, and subjected to whistles, flashing lights–in often congested and windowless environments. Sound like fun?
Adding insult to injury is that many kids will have seven minutes or less to consume their lunch, making for garbage bins filled with uneaten food and rumbling tummies headed back to their classrooms. I have a vision that all schools will provide adequate time for students to consume their meals while socializing in a pleasant environment that is conducive to a pleasant and satisfying eating experience. When students are nourished, they are better able to perform well in school–and in life.”
And yet one super has a nonsense fix;
“I wish there were a happy ending to this story. But after listening sympathetically to our concerns, the superintendent issued a new policy: henceforth, the kids would have “no less than fifteen minutes” to eat — which in practice has meant that kids still sometimes end up with only ten minutes. Oh, and kids would no longer be made to wear their winter clothes to lunch — the time for getting dressed would be taken out of their recess instead. Meanwhile, the superintendent argued that the best solution would be to lengthen the school day.”
How pathetic is this cop out solution? Add time to the school day? This has been the Duncan dream all along. More time for rigor and test prep for these babies. Less time with families and for healthy extra curricular activities. More school to accommodate more test prep with an age inappropriate curriculum cannot be the go to response. Parents and educators MUST fight for better.
This is an unspeakable tragedy. Please keep this child and family in your thoughts.
Here is their page:
While education DEFORM is not entirely to blame, this new culture of rushing these kids through their days that should be magical learning experiences, is wrong. The Deformers are simultaneously placing unreasonable expectations on minors, and adding insult to injury by providing inadequate staff, which is a recipe for disaster. We must return to respect for children and childhood.
Where was the trained staff???