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Parents Talk: Ban Candy on Valentine's Day?

Some schools are keeping sweets out of the classroom.

What's Valentine's Day without candy?

Some kids are finding out, as schools extend bans on classroom sweets to holiday celebrations out of concern for students' health.

A Massachusetts school's has drawn national and international attention and criticism, as well as praise.

Parents in Minneapolis, where a policy to promote better student health started last year, see messages like:

"Students can bring valentines, but as you are shopping for valentines, please DO NOT purchase valentines with candy or send candy to school for the party."

Our 11-year-old broke the news to me a few days ago: The general ban on sugary snacks at her school applies to Valentine's Day. "It's ridiculous," she said. "Fruit snacks are about as close as you can get."

That sent her brother, 17, into a reverie about what used to be—candy hearts, pixie sticks, Hershey's bars. Sweets, he remembered, were "the whole point. It's small candy but it adds up. We had pretty big class sizes."

Our daughter explained that from a kid's perspective, Valentine's Day is the one holiday celebrated more at school than it is at home. "It's really fun," she said, lapsing into the present tense. "It's just 45 minutes of walking around and eating candy."

She'll still get a list of kids in her class and spend the weekend cutting out hearts or shopping for paper cards. And my wife gets the kids small boxes of chocolates—a tradition firmly instituted one year when they wondered why only we parents were exchanging heart-shaped presents at home.

So Valentine's Day will survive. But it won't be the same.

In fact, said my daughter, "It's absolutely horrible."

rob_h78 February 14, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I don't recall candy either being in school other than what kids brought in their lunches and even then most kids who brought their lunches had real sandwiches (tuna, PBJ, ham, etc...) and, yes, actual "fruit" and stuff like real carrots and as I recall there wasn't a lot of processed junk as there is today.
Janine February 14, 2012 at 06:48 PM
I also have a child at Emmet D. Williams Elementary School in Roseville and I would have had no problem if the school district would have just banned the candy for Valentine's Day and kept the Valentine's and school party. Instead, the district not only banned Valentine's Day but ALL holiday celebrations throughout all schools in the district. Can't even mention the word, Halloween anymore. Absolutely ridiculous! U.S. traditional values and respect for our heritage have gone down the drain. Morale is down by all the kids at Emmet D. and so has our school ranking, plummeting from 2nd to last place. I miss our hold principal who valued parents' opinions. ! I think it's time for a new Superintendent.
Chris Steller February 14, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Really interesting about what's going on in Roseville. Valentine's parties aren't banned at my daughter's school but in her classroom anyway, the candy ban has had the same effect. There is no Valentine's party, and as you say it was one of the kids' favorite days at school. Maybe the parents could have rescued the party. I wish I'd learned about the problem earlier.
Penna1965 February 27, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Kids are not exercising either. Sitting still, watching television, watching movies, sitting in a car, not playing sports because the sports are too organized, playing video games, etc. There are not pickup games at the park, hardly any kids playing outside. Exercise and diet go hand in hand. In Minnesota, PE classes are only once in high school, not every year daily or three times a week when my husband and I were in school.
Penna1965 February 27, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Margaret, high fructose corn syrup is just as bad as beet sugar or cane sugar. Sugar is sugar no matter the source. Limiting the sugar in everything is key. Moderation, exercise and diet.

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