Parents Raise Concerns Over Breakfast In Class

CHICAGO (WBBM) – Some parents are working to limit Chicago’s new Breakfast in the Classroom program based on concerns that it will distract from learning and put allergic children at risk.

Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty finds at least 1,400 parents want the program to be optional but the Board of Education approved the mandate Wednesday, saying it gives low income kids a healthy start to the day.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty Reports

Parent Cara Moroze says they will continue to gather signatures, at Blaine Elementary on the north side, against something they see as waste of precious money and time.

Parent Jeannie Lewis is worried that bringing milk and eggs into classrooms will harm kids with life-threatening allergies just like her son.

She says despite best efforts, 5-year-olds will spill and teachers may be too busy to clean up a potentially very serious mess.

Last month, a 7th grader at Edison died from an allergic reaction to food she ate at a class party.

A CPS spokeswoman says 62 elementary schools already have the program and expansion will start with low-income schools.

Monique Bond says parents can opt out individually and should inform schools about their child’s allergies.

CPS introduced a policy this week that outlines ways to limit allergy exposure and train staff on emergency response.

More from Nancy Harty
  • cjcjcj

    Have the kids live at school. If their parents can’t provide breakfast, lunch or dinner – the children should then be considered neglected and abused. These low income families get link cards for food, section 8 for housing, medicaid and other assistance. Turn the school into an orphanage. Let the teachers teach. They don’t have time to clean up after 30 kids.

  • LLL

    Bravo to the schools for trying to help low-income students who may not get a healthy meal otherwise! Kids should have epi-pens with them at all times, and teachers should be informed of not only allergies, but they should be trained in administering emergency epi-pen doses. It’s getting a little ridiculous that kids who can’t get breakfast at home are being offered this and now it’s being taken away from them. Parents need to work WITH teachers to help them understand what is going on with a child. They are blaming teachers and schools for not being sensitive to their kids’ allergies, but they are also not informing the schools of these special needs.

    That said, this program should be optional, but parents who opt out of it should then be mandated to give their kids a healthy breakfast.

    • Former Elementary Teacher

      Unfortunately with life-saving items such as epi-pens and inhalers, many school policies require that these medicines remain in the school or nurse’s office under lock and key where ALL OTHER “prescription and non-prescription” medications for the children are kept. Children who are exposed to potential food allergies may not be able to get the medicine quickly enough if the correct personnel cannot be reached to come to the aid of the child in distress. Some schools do not even have a full time school nurse in the school building, with nurses traveling from school to school. This results in a lack of qualified health individuals being available in the building for an emergency with either a child or adult.

      HOWEVER, I do agree that parents need to be more vigilant in letting not only the school office / school nurse know about allergies and potential health issues, but they also need to make sure that the classroom teachers are fully aware of the situation with the child as well, including what to look for if there is a problem, and how to help the distressed child.

  • ella wilk

    i could not agree more with you. let them teach @ school

  • M.E.


  • maxwife

    I find this absolutely incredible. At WHAT point do we hold parents responsible for the care and keeping of their children? I am so weary of responsible parents being mandated by local government’s assumption that parents don’t know how to feed their children, so the schools will take care of it. Good gracious, hands off my kids! I’LL feed them, and feed them well, and feed them responsibly. Give me some credit for SOMEthing–CPS! I feel nothing but sorrow for the teachers. At what point will teaching/learning actually take place, what with breakfast, lunch, and dinner being served? Are we to hold CPS parents responsible for NOTHING?

  • donna taylor

    Unfortuniately, in todays world, unfit parents abound. Some are addicts and some have mental health issues such as bipolar disorder.These parents are not even aware their kids need breakfast. These poor kiods need a chance and a good breakfast can go a long way. Let responsible parents opt out if they choose to and let kids who need it have it.

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  • Veronica Williams

    I was BLESSED to have a family who made sure I had breakfast at school. But some of you just have no idea what it’s like, so you feel the need to look down on this program and be real jerks about it. Not everyone has the money and some kids need every meal they can get. Not every low income family has a link card or section 8. These things don’t just fall from the sky for anyone who needs them. Children need nutrition to be focused and I’ve seen what it’s like for those who are without. How DARE you, cjcjcj in all your filthy and pretentious sarcasm….I mean really? Get over yourself.

  • Guest

    I thought we were having a childhood obesity problem. If someone is hungry and not getting enough food at home, the school social worker can address that issue and find out what the problem is to make sure the child is not being neglected at home and why they don’t have access to food.

  • Jim

    Wonder how much of the food will get thrown out each day due to poor quality? What if a kids doesn’t like eggs? or pancakes? I got a kid (well fed) at home that would prefer a bowl of soup or spagetti for breakfast because she just doesn’t like most breakfast items. Are they going to have scrumptious buffets with variety? If kids eat good at home are they going to get a plate of cold eggs served to them on their desks? Seems like a lot of effort with potential for a lot of waste.

  • Paula

    The issue here is not whether parents are fit or not, the issue is most schools have free breakfast already available in the cafeteria everyday. We should not take time out of the school day, one of the shortest in the nation to feed children when it is already available before school. This is going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars that could be spent on teaching the children.

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