I remember one of my more ambitious Valentine's Day efforts at Harrison Street School in the early '60s.
I taped heart-shaped lolly pops to paper doilies and handed them out in those shoe boxes we used for the occasion back then. As I recall, the lollypops got rave reviews from classmates and a thumbs up from the teacher for originality. Candy was considered good in those days.
Flash forward a half century and, surprise! Things have changed. Probably for the best.
Geneva School District 304 is reminding parents and students this week that no candy should be attached to valentines this year.
"Valentines will be exchanged on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in your child’s classroom," the district said in a 304 Connects e-mail message.
"In accordance with our District Wellness Policy 8510 that was adopted last school year, we ask that no candy or other edible items be attached to the valentines."
I imagine that the practice still varies a bit from school to school or classroom to classroom, but for the most part, it sounds like Valentine's Day parties are on the out, along with the candy. Parents and teachers, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
Cake and treats are out for birthday parties. Ditto for Halloween treats.
That's a good thing, probably due mostly to the awareness and concern about allergies these days. It's hard to argue with any policy that promotes health and safety.
It's also difficult not to see a little bit of irony in this particular sign of the times.
When candy was allowed, childhood obesity really wasn't much of an issue. Today, obesity is serious business, for children and adults. And if you have any doubts about that, well, just ask Chris Christie.
What do you think? Should candy be allowed with valentines at school? Should an exchange be OK if the candy is taken home for parent inspection? Leave a note in the comments section and take our Patch poll.
Here are some comments from Geneva Patch's Facebook page:
- I think it's great to be healthy but on special occasions it should be okay to send a little valentine treat. Let them take it home and the parents can make those decisions for their children.
- We survived. Let the kids be kids!
- I think kids need to be kids and parents should be monitoring the treats- not the schools. Sad that kids can't give a sweet treat with their valentines.
- How is this different from the other parties they have? Yes, they are provided with healthy choices but I've seen plenty of candy at those parties. It would have been nice for the district to send out the reminder about the policy earlier than today. New families, such as my own, had no idea and were already prepared. Off to the store to buy new Valentines. Yay!
- As a parent I'm glad we do Valentines but not candy. It's one less thing to buy and we don't need the candy, it's a waste.
- What is the impetus for this? There is nothing wrong with treats if done in moderation. I can see it if it is sending a message about the ill-effects of childhood obesity in this country. However, if it's to soothe lil' Johnny's feelings b/c he didn't get a valentine from a girl he likes in class then that sends a very bad message and kids need to learn things will often not go as planned in life.
- As a room parent for these events, candidly I'm not a fan. However, wholeheartedly understand.
- The school officials sure know how to suck the fun out of the holiday. Ridiculous.