When schools just don’t get it

Imagine your child brings this home from school. A letter stating that you are responsible for bringing EVERYTHING on this list to school — the next day.

Here’s the email I received along with this picture of the letter:

“I received this yesterday, and have under 24 hours to shop for approximately $80 worth of groceries for my son’s classroom, whether these items are at a good price this week or not. Ordinarily, I would take a list like this and buy items each week as I see them at a good price or have coupons for them. And yes, they are brand specific. For many families, this would be very difficult to swing, and that is when the credit cards come out!

We have an appointment Monday morning, so can’t drop it off at that time, so it has to be done today. He is in the afternoon class, so he wouldn’t even be there Monday morning anyway.”

Kinda nutty, right? Especially if you didn’t know it was coming. The family that received this letter just moved into the district and had no idea any of this was going on. $80 may not seem like a big deal to you, but if you were finally making financial progress and this thing smacked you in the teeth, you would be salty.

****Not to mention the fact that all the food on this list is CRAP. “Hey, waste your money on crap food for all these kids. Thanks.” Nope.

And now the receipt.



38 thoughts on “When schools just don’t get it

  1. My reply would be, “uh, nope, not going to happen. If you’d like me to provide snacks this week, there will NOT be Oreos, Teddy Grahams, Ritz Crackers, Gogurts, Juicy Juice, Trix cereal or gummy worms. I don’t feed my kid processed food and I won’t be buying it for the class. I’ll bring in fresh fruit options, and I would have preferred at least a month’s notice so that I could work this into our weekly food budget.”

  2. My daughter had an elementary school teacher who sent home book lists and expected parents to buy at least six books from the list. Not textbooks. Just optional fiction for kids. I refused.

    So the teacher punished all the children whose parents did not cooperate by making the children sit in the back of the room at a separate table from the “good” students, made them go last in the lunch line, and made them clean the boards and empty the trash each day. Talk about bullying!

    I went straight to the principal. Turns out the teacher was getting kickbacks from the publisher! Always pay attention to what is going on when your children are at school. There may be hidden agendas involved or more going on than you realize.

  3. We have dealt with this for our son’s daycare, although we usually get a week to a weekend and less specific requirements. For us it was nothing more than a request, but I can definitely see how it would get overwhelming for a larger class (6 toddler’s don’t eat that much). There are a lot of things wrong with this letter. I would personally have a problem with the list being almost entirely complete and utter junk with little to no nutritional value. This could also be used as an example of a reason behind the obesity epidemic in children. Furthermore, it sets a kid up for ridicule if their family isn’t in a position to afford such name brand luxuries.

  4. I have watched this type of thing go on and get worse each year. That is close to my weekly grocery budget for a family of 5 to eat for a week and pack lunches. If the school and parents believe this is a good practice, they could easily assign each student a week at the beginning of the school year with a monthly reminder on a news letter or email.

  5. Name brands? Nobody ever died from off-brands/generics and my cheapass thinks they’re the same. I would agree with Sue, in that most of those sugary-y things don’t even need to be in a class room in the first place.

    I’m assuming this is a pre-school, but maybe I’m wrong on that. I’d talk to the director, or just not comply in the first place.

  6. They needed to add another $20 for the copay to pay the dentist for the cavities that will be filled after the kids eat this sugary concoction.

  7. The letter isn’t clear at all. Do they expect Zach’s parent to buy everything on the list, or just an item or two? It seems like each listed food item would suffice for a 20-kid snack time.

  8. We have an appt Monday morning, so can’t drop it off at that time, so it has to be done today.

  9. My twins just started developmental preschool and received a half year supply list (they started in March). It was not nearly this bad but I was unprepared. I had a couple of the items stockpiled and then over a couple of weeks got the rest. I only provided half of what was on there since my girls started so late. They never said anything to me. But it’s weird, at my kid’s school they just have you bring in a snack your kid likes and then ask you to refill as needed. Then they all share the apple juice that was part of the list to send in. I think that’s how it should be: supply lists with fair warning and providing YOUR kids snack.

  10. OMG! I would have gone straight to the director/principal/whomever was in charge the minute I read it. That is ridiculous for ONE family to have to buy ALL OF THIS for the class! (And all these unhealthy items to boot…)
    I’d be asking for changes to be made, i.e. each parent asked help out by bringing in 1 item (and more things like the grapes, yogurt, string cheese, etc).

  11. In my typical Ghetto fashion..You’ve got me “fu$K up”!!
    I buy snacks but its one snack (no peanut or peanut butter)….that’s it…which usually mean the industral size container of animal crackers….that way it lasts for a couple of weeks… This list is for someone who’se got it TWISTED!! To make it worse…no other parent has ever complained?? They better be glad I’m not a parent at that school!

  12. This must be a teacher in a more affluent school district. About a third of my students can’t even afford basic school supplies, there is no way I’d send home a list like this!

  13. Might as well get used to crap like this when they’re young. It’ll help you prepare for the racket that is college.

  14. Not to mention that with 20 kids in the class, the odds are that Zach’s parents will be re-filling this list (or a similar list) twice in a school year!

  15. Why not try good old fashioned direct communication with the teacher? Maybe this list was an error or some information was mistakenly left out (seems that way to me). What ever happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt? A little kindness and open communication can work wonders.

  16. I agree with Kelle… SURELY, there has to be a sentence, or two, missing. That list is ridiculous for one child (family) to fulfill.

  17. Some of the food on the list is not even allowed to be eaten during the school day with the new rules on “Food of Minimal Nutritional Value”. As a teacher, this list would be enough for a class party (which are only allowed 3 times a year in our district) for 25 students. I’m shocked. I can’t even really ask my parents to bring pencils or a box of Kleenex to school much less all of these items. As a parent, I would agree with earlier posts and reply that I am not bringing in all of these ridiculous items, but I will agree to bring in a bag of apples and I’m sure the children will be none the wiser and all the healthier.

  18. No doubt the food is bad, really bad. I’m wondering if there was time earlier in the year to propose snack change in this class? As a parent, I would be wondering where snacks were coming from since the Fall. Why were they such crap? What does this mean for me further in the year as a parent? If I bought “healthy” equivalents to this receipt at Trader Joe’s, for SURE, it would be >$90. Absolutely if I had no notice and had to break my budget on food I wasn’t even supportive of, I would be furious too! But also in planning the school year, if I had to send snack for *just my child* each day for the school year, I calculate I would spend probably $180 to $370. Now, you’ve really got me thinking about snacks for the school year next year!

  19. When we interviewed preschools, we were told up front by EVERY SCHOOL whether or not we would be required to bring food, what that food would be, how much it would cost, and how often we would need to bring it. I am having trouble believing this parent wasn’t warned in advance.

    ie: How did the parent know the school requires brand specific snacks? Doesn’t say that in the letter anywhere. Perhaps they learned that tidbit during a previous conversation with the school where they were told when and what they would be required to buy?

  20. I seriously cannot believe this school’s requests (demands more like it!) for snacks. I’ve not put 3 children through pre-school for 3 years each, so that’s like 9 yrs of preschool essentially. Not once have I received a note like this and if I had I would be down at the director’s office STAT. Our chosen preschool assigns snack days at the beginning of the term (September and January) for the whole term so you know plenty far in advance when it’s your snack duty time. We’re actually encouraged to NOT bring in sugary and artificially sweetened snacks unless it happens to be a birthday celebration. We’re asked to bring in healthier options, like pretzels, carrot sticks, cheese, wheat crackers, animal crackers, raisins, etc. Most people choose to bring in boxed/bagged juice drinks as well although several also bring in milk. I don’t think I could, in my right mind, follow through with the requests of a list like that without making a fuss about it to as many people as possible. This would NOT be tolerated, as I would simply refuse.

  21. i think it may depend on the school. we interviewed several schools as well and were never told specifics about snacks during a visit, only that each child takes turns bringing snacks monthly/ weekly, etc. unless you ask the very specific questions, i can see how that info might’ve been missed.

  22. OH. MY. GOODNESS! My kids attend public schools in Indianapolis. I have a Senior, Freshman, 7th grader, Kindergartener, and a 4-year-old. We have never been asked to bring snacks of any kind, even in daycare/preschool. My 5-year-old’s school even provides breakfast, for FREE, to all kids. My husband and I spend about that much each week on groceries for our family of sevenI And that’s for three meals a day plus snacks. Most times I have been asked to bring snacks, it’s for sporting events. And they ask you to bring something at least semi-healthy. I would definitely have talked to someone first! Although I understand this mother’s time constraints, not wanting her son to be embarrased by not having something for everyone, etc. I would have gone in or called as soon as I had the chance, though. I hope she did! Your tax dollars hard at work, folks!

  23. Personally, I don’t think Clorox wipes are a healthy snack for children. Also, unlike the word fish or deer, the plural of snack needs to have an “s” at the end. It seems as though a teacher should know that.

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