Roses 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