Once I read it, I felt compelled to write back to my friend.. I told her that I had some serious issues with the content of the email that she had sent me, and was going to address just two of them:
"The first one is that I am very surprised that this "English teacher" wouldn't know that many people living in poverty are obese. They simply can't afford to buy fresh fruits and vegetables and decent lean protein sources. They fill up on what they can afford. It is my opinion that a decent breakfast --
'one that would make the Marriott proud' -- SHOULD be provided for students whose families can't afford to feed them well. Children can't learn if they are hungry. It is difficult for me to believe that every child who receives a decent free breakfast takes the tray of food and throws it out. And I wonder why the teacher witnessing the ones who do take a lot of food and throw it out doesn't see this as a teachable moment and speak one-on-one to a child about what he sees happening?
"The second one is that I really believe that a school-age child has a right to a public education. The school that provides child care for babies of school-age children is helping the young mother to obtain a high school diploma, the absolute minimum that a person needs to get anywhere in this country. I, for one, would rather see my tax dollars go to provide this child care as opposed to providing ongoing welfare for someone whose circumstances kept her from getting through high school. If my daughter had become pregnant at age thirteen, I would have quit my job to help her raise her child and finish her education. Many, many families don't have this option. Poor people will always be poor if they remain uneducated."
I closed by asking my friend to refrain from sending similar emails to me.
Call me a bleeding-heart liberal if you like. Or call me a COW*, which I readily own up to. But I tell you this: In my opinion, the day this country stops feeding and educating its children is the day our real decline begins.
*COW = Cranky Old Woman