Death of the Birthday Cupcake

Today I was told (my daughter’s birthday) that unfortunately you can’t bring in a fruit tray brought from a store (per letter sent in Jan. and our school ideas for healthy snacks website) that our school is “steering” away from birthday celebrations, a tradition that has been followed for decades. It’s unfortunate that principals, staff, teachers, etc. do not have the “time” to honor a child’s birthday with her classmates!  I know it’s a lot on the teachers behalf to facilitate this by his or herself (our children are being punished by those who have ruined the freedom of parents coming to assist. Societies random acts of violence has a domino effect on us all)! Therefore, once again our wonderful teachers have yet another burden of responsibility! To act alone and help our children celebrate their birthday with their classmates/friends! I know it’s not an easy task. However, Elimination should not be the conclusive answer (especially not on the day of without ANY prior notice). What about the child who relocates, and doesn’t have any friends, except the students she engages with daily?  They look forward to sharing that moment with classmates! Perhaps working in a specific date ahead of time to incorporate within the classroom so teachers can celebrate student’s birthday for that month is feasible. For example, the last day of each month have a celebration for all the students whose birthday fell within that month… a simple 30 minute time frame! It can be done. I’m very disappointed!! This should have been directly stated and not subliminal enforced! I could have made other arrangements (as well as other parents who has faced this same problem)!!!! Now it’s too late and my daughter will be affected! I’ll have to mend a broken heart and explain why she couldn’t have 30 minutes of a day to celebrate with the only friends she have!!!!!

Sincerely a disgruntled parent

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From the Principal of Never Never Land Elementary

February 21, 2014

Dear Parents and Families,

Since our January notification to parents about cupcakes and other not-so-healthy food choices, there have been many questions generated regarding the continuation of student birthday celebrations at our school. The good
news is, “we still continue to recognize and celebrate student birthdays at school”, however, we no longer encourage the celebration or recognition to include food, whether it be healthy or unhealthy, as many of our
students are, indeed, allergic to healthy food, as well. In addition, all families aren’t always able to send in healthy snacks and/or favors for an entire class when it’s their own child’s birthday, so we often,
unintentionally, do more harm to those students and families who can’t, or choose not to do the same.

Instead of the traditional cupcakes, ice cream, candy or even fruit, cheese or crackers, many teachers choose to honor birthday students by singing songs, playing special games, announcing names on orning announcements, wearing special hats or banners, having access to the birthday chair, facilitating leadership roles of honor in the classroom etc. In lieu of food or sweet treats, some families are choosing to send in party favors such as pencils, books, stickers, movie tickets, or party invitations.

Our goal for honoring student birthdays within the school day and during non-instructional time is just to make your child feel extra special on their special day. It is of my opinion, that together we can accomplish this
simple goal without the inclusion of food. As our teaching and learning schedules do not permit time for birthday parties, our teachers creatively find time to honor and recognize their birthday students during the non- instructional part of their day; such as at the end of the lunch period, at recess, or at a scheduled snack time.

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We do continue to encourage parents who celebrate their children’s birthday parties at home, or on the weekends to please send in enough party invitations for their child’s entire class membership, so that teachers
might distribute them on your behalf and with enough time left for you to plan and host attendance at your child’s special event. Thank you for your understanding as we work to celebrate all of our students’ successes, academic and otherwise, in a responsible, respectful and safe manner.

Sincerely,
The Administration