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When the Cafeteria Lady Becomes Mom

Posted on October 21 2010 4:00 pm
Suzanne Venker, a.k.a. "No Bull Mom," is an author, blogger, and speaker. You can find her at
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Which is more preposterous? Parents being hauled off to jail for not attending their children’s parent-teacher conferences, or children staying in school so long they’re being served dinner? Those are the latest ideas coming out of Washington, D.C. and Detroit, MI. No doubt Michelle Obama had something to do with the latter — which is designed, in part, to help fight obesity. Washington D.C. is one of 13 states whose public schools now serve three meals a day.

So just how much does this federally funded program cost? Why, only 5.7 million! What’s 5.7 million when you’re already several trillion in the hole? Heck, let’s face it. When I use my Target card instead of paying cash, I’m far more likely to throw a $10 scarf in my cart. Happens all the time.

But it’s for a good cause! Healthy, well-fed kids learn better if they’re not hungry! Um, yeah. But it’s not my job to feed other people’s kids. I only do that when they’ve been invited to our home.

Alas, this is not the mindset of the folks in the White House or in America’s public school system. To them, America must step up to the plate when parents don’t do their job. As Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says about the proposed jail time for parents who skip conferences,

It’s time to find any means necessary to get parents involved.

Like all left-wing plans, the ideas are noble. They appeal to people’s emotions, suggesting the proposed solution is the right thing to do — for the sake of the kids, of course. What leftists fail to grasp is that they can’t make good parents out of bad parents — which means they’re throwing our hard-earned money down the drain.

Reasonable Americans know that serving children dinner at school and throwing irresponsible parents in jail will not get to the root of the problem. What children need — two loving parents, one of whom is home often enough to tend to their children’s needs — can never be replaced by The System. No amount of money or government assistance will do it. That’s why conservatives bend over backwards to fight for marriage and the family. All other solutions are merely band-aids.

America cannot legislate parental involvement. Parents are either responsible — or they’re not. It’s never a lack of education, as s0-called liberals claim. It’s a matter of choice.

Suzanne Venker is co-author of the forthcoming book The Flipside of Feminism: What Smart Women Know – and Men Can’t Say (WND Books). Her website is

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