Bizarro Bloomberg Beware - Resistance has Begun
This is my third posting on Huffington Post. The original article was sent to me by Nick Santora, a middle school teacher in Queens.
On October 5, Sadia and Gideon, five-year old twins from Brooklyn, joined the guerrilla underground. They baked forty cupcakes and brownies, smothered them with chocolate frosting, and covered them with sprinkles and gummy bears. The next day they smuggled the contraband into their school to celebrate their birthdays with their kindergarten friends in defiance of the New York City mayor's latest edict.
This is a true story. Bizarro Bloomberg is at it again. In an autocratic regime, the monarch's preferences are the law of the land and woe to any one that questions them. On Oct. 3, The New York Times reported "A Crackdown on Bake Sales in City Schools."
The Bloomberg/Klein NYC Department of Education apparently does not like cookies and cupcakes because they are fattening. They are banning bake sales that are used by parent groups and student teams and clubs to fund activities at a time when Mayor Moneybags is cutting school budgets and demanding that we mortals tighten out belts. The option of better funding for student teams, expanding gym classes, and running more after school programs has apparently been rejected.
Bill Hendrick, another Queens middle school teacher, reports that his school has no health education classes and the students only have physical education one or two days a week. He wonders if educating kids about healthy living and the importance of exercise might be a better long term solution than cutting bake sales.
Parent groups will be granted one exception a month to sell cookies and cakes as long as it is after lunch. Department of Education officials will carefully monitor school principals to make sure that the regulations are enforced. If a principal does not enforce the new rules, "Noncompliance may result in adverse impact on the principal's compliance performance rating."
I don't think we should over-stuff our kids with sweets. But I would like to be able to bring cupcakes to school so my grandchildren (the rebels mentioned earlier) can celebrate their birthdays with friends. I also suspect that denied the ability to purchase sweets in school, students will simply purchase more at the local grocery stores at their way in and out of the building.
As a high school teacher I was the faculty adviser to a number of student clubs. In order to fund our programs we ran the school's bagel concession for a number of weeks a semester. This made it possible for the school's political action club to invite speakers, publish a newsletter, and travel to Washington, D.C. to lobby politicians on different issues. It is not clear whether bagels are on the list.
Maybe the real reason for this policy is that as part of his reelection campaign Bloomberg is trying to win the shopkeepers' vote. Or maybe Mayor Moneybags will establish cake-free zones around the schools. Anyone selling cookies to underage customers between seven in the morning and five in the afternoon will face heavy fines and jail time.
Anyway, this is my poor effort at poking fun at His Highness, Mayor Moneybags. But we need a real satirist to go after Bloomberg. Swift, Twain and Lewis Carroll are long gone, but Calvin Trillin, Frank Rich or Philip Roth may be able to do the trick. Even better, maybe we need some five-year olds to start yelling "The Emperor has no clothes."