An Iowa school district has banned students from bringing homemade treats into classrooms. But that's not all. They can't bring items purchased in stores either. What about celebrating Valentine's Day? Forget it.

The chief operating officer for the Ankeny school district, Matt Adams, says the change in policy allows all kids to take part. Students who are unable to afford foods purchased in stores and those with food allergies as well. Huh?!

In the adult world, bringing food to share is known as a treat day or potluck. I'm sure you've been to many potlucks where you know someone who hasn't brought an item to share. What do you do? You welcome them to take part anyway. It's what you do. These kids, regardless of their reason for not bringing something, should be afforded the same opportunity. If they're not, school districts should be ashamed of themselves.

What happens then, no parties? There's a two-part answer to that.

First, kids can purchase items through the district's food service department. They're said to be healthy and also will limit the chances of an allergic reaction. Well, that's convenient, isn't it? I certainly don't downplay the concern over allergies. I understand that for many kids and parents, allergies are a very large, and legitimate concern. However, a school can't guarantee a 100% success rate against an allergic reaction. By the way, here's some specifics from the Ankeny school district's sheet that students could order from for today's "friendship parties:"
24 cookies were $16.80
24 Rice Krispie bars: $24
24 baby carrots with ranch: $18

Good luck to those who can't afford to bring their own treats.

Second, the Des Moines Register reports that schools nationwide are getting rid of Valentine's parties and replacing them with more generic parties. (See "friendship parties" above) WHAT?! How is exchanging valentines with other students and giving your teacher one, anything that could offend anyone? I promise you the valentines that listeners make each year and are delivered to our veterans at the VA Hospital in Iowa City are appreciated. Some to the point of tears. These same veterans fought for the liberties of a nation that to me, sometimes seem to have gotten so uptight it's a wonder we don't all die of a stress-related heart attack.

If someone can explain the need to remove Valentine's parties and replace them generically, I'll listen. Until then, I'm flabbergasted.

[via Des Moines Register]