Ban on Valentine's Day Candy in School Is Sweet

Rant 17

Valentine's Day candyRoses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet ... but it doesn't need to be included in the Valentine's Day cards children take to their friends at school. One school in Newton, Massachusetts, has done what I wish every school in America would do -- they've banned kids from sending in candy with their Valentine's Day cards.

The principal has instead suggested they send in things like origami, small stickers, or pencils if they must send something in addition to a card. And the outrage has ensued. They're ruining these kids' childhoods! They're sapping the fun out of life! How could theeeeeeeeey?

I say good for them.

I'm not one of those parents who hands out only healthy treats on Halloween, nor does Santa only fill our stockings with organic, sugar-free candy. I absolutely believe that holidays and special treats go hand-in-hand, and that they are the times we can and should indulge a little. But including candy in Valentine's Day cards at school is unnecessary and just another thing that has been added to the ever-expanding list of occasions that are license to let our kids pour sugar down their throats.

A box of chocolates from a romantic partner is one thing, but when 25 children bring in bags brimming with candy, it's ridiculous. When I was growing up, at school we got cards, plain and simple, and that was exciting enough. Any chocolate came from a small heart-shaped box our parents gave us at home. But somewhere along the line, like the ever-infuriating birthday party goodie bag, candy with the cards you give your friends has become de rigueur.

And typically, that's on top of the cake, cookies, or whatever treats they have while they're in school at the class Valentine's Day party. Then someone at whatever after-school-activity we have has to bust out some festive treat, and grandma and grandpa sent a little something, and ... it's just ridiculous.

Halloween is about candy, and I accept that and brace for it; I by no means try to stop all the sugar in the world from entering my children's bodies. But Valentine's Day is about love, and that love doesn't need to be expressed through sugar -- especially not in schools.

So the ban is brilliant, because if one isn't in place, you don't want your kid to be the only one who just gives a card (or God forbid, origami), so you cave and let them send in some (and perhaps also just to pay the other parents back a little). Everyone else does the same and ... can't we all get a ban?

Do you think kids should be banned from sending in candy with their Valentine's Day cards at school?

Image via SheriW/Flickr


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nonmember avatar qwerty

When you helicopter moms treat sugar like drugs or alcohol, don't be surprised when your teens don't heed your alcohol/drug warnings "Well, that's what she said about candy and it didn't kill me." You need to pick you battles. My only rule about sugar is "Brush your teeth." It's not my fault your kids are fat. Mine are bright and healthy, active and thin, and we go to DQ nearly nightly, after swim team practice, it's the only way I can keep their pants from falling off! Kids don't get obese from eating ridiculous amounts of candy on holidays. The get obese because of parents who won't turn off the gadgets and take them to the park or on a bike ride, or who let them quit a sport every time they have a bad day. Last year, the "room mom" called the night before the christmas party to tell me to bring a veggie tray. I brought cupcakes while the other "healthy treats" sat untouched. Lighten up!

nonmember avatar Cynthia

I'm fine with not giving treats with Valentine's cards, but our school goes several steps further with NO Valentine's Parties and NO Valentine's cards! I think this is a little ridiculous. The few times the kids have been allowed to give cards, we were not allowed to have a list of the kids' first names and the school blamed it on FOIP! There's a time and place and a K-4 public school is not the place to be basically banning Valentine's day.

happy... happynugget6

I'm 31 and I remember getting candy at school on Valentines day. Why are you so grumpy? Eat some candy

Kritika Kritika

Get a grip.

nonmember avatar Melissa

I totally agree. Everyone says "it's just a little treat" but they get "just a little treat" from friends, and grandma, and grandpa, and oma, and aunts and uncles and teachers... and what do you know, it is not just a little anymore!

tis.u... tis.unnatural

It's scientifically proven (and pretty widely known) that sugar suppresses the imune system. Kids eating lots of sugar = messed up immune systems = sick kids. So yes, there is a problem with the whole "oh lighen up and let kids be kids" mentality.

If I were a teacher, I wouldn't want a classroom full of sick, germy kids, or my students having to miss school constantly because they're sick. I can't blame them in the least for limiting sweets in the classroom. I'd do the same.

And for those "there's no harm in a little candy' parents out there, please stop bitching that you have to miss work to stay home with your sick kids. It's your own damn fault.

Doomy234 Doomy234

I dont think they should ban the candy from school. If a little boy wants to give a little girl a chocolate heart, it should be fine. As long as they dont eat it in school. Let them take it home then the parents can ration it out.

PonyC... PonyChaser

Geez, why does everything always have to turn into a ban? On the other hand, I would much rather ban the damn pencils than the candy. At least the candy can be consumed. I have more pencils in my house that are not sharpened and that I will end up using as fireplace kindling. Why? Because our school doesn't allow them to use anything except plain yellow Ticonderoga pencils, so Little Johnny doesn't go to war with Little Billy over who really owns that Star Wars pencil on the floor!! And everybody gives pencils for everything. So we have Valentine's pencils, Easter pencils, Independence pencils, Police pencils, Fire pencils, First Day of School pencils, Halloween pencils, Thanksgiving pencils, Christmas pencils, and about a thousand birthday pencils.

Yes, kids get a lot of candy on these holidays. Are you so ineffective at parenting that, when it walks through the door, you can't take it away and put it in a bin with the school-lunch prep stuff? Eat it for dessert over the next couple of weeks. Put a single piece in a lunch now and then. (oh, wait. You don't make your kid's lunch? And you're complaining about sugar???)

For the love of pete, people. Balance.

And I'm 40-ish, and WE got candy on Valentine's Day, too.

momto... momtolittleg

Amen qwerty. I've been devouring a whole bag of candy hearts with my daughter. Love them! Hubby hasn't had any. Guess which of us is sick? That's proof that candy hearts prevent illness. What? Correlation does not equal causation, you say? Huh.

As a teacher, no way would I ban candy. I just ask that they give ME some, too! :)

cecil... cecilmansmom

oh goodnight. If you can't control what your children put in their mouths thats your problem don't try to control everyone else. Just cause you don't know how to say "not till after dinner then you only get one".

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