Much to the dismay of room mothers, Knox County Schools has adopted a ban on classroom cupcakes. The ban, set to take effect before fall birthdays and Christmas, will apply to treats brought in for any event that could be considered religious or exclusive in nature.
Knox County Schools spokesperson Arnold J. Glimmer said that birthdays encourage children to feel more special than their classmates, if only for a day. “We do not want to encourage children to, at ANY time, feel superior or more special than their fellow students. All students are equal and they should continuously feel that way,” he explained.
In an effort to further thwart religious expression within the public school system, any celebration that is not secular in nature cannot be celebrated with cupcakes. Glimmer continued, “There are still plenty of other events where cupcakes would be acceptable. Halloween, for one. The solstice. Arbor Day is a great day to bring cupcakes to school. They can be decorated like little trees!”
|A group of students enjoy a birthday
cupcake party for the last time.
Nine out of ten room mothers interviewed for this story think the idea is stupid or worse. Sara Jennings, an active room mother at Brickey Elementary, said “What will they think of next? Banning tennis shoes? My little Billy always looked forward to Birthday Cupcake Day. And now just to be PC, they’re going to take that away? I can’t say what I want to in front of my little Billy here.” With that, she squealed the tires of her Ford Excursion and thundered out of the parking lot.
With the few remaining opportunities for children to eat cupcakes, the mother baking the cakes must adhere to strict guidelines. A sugar-substitute is preferred. Icing color must be non-offensive. There must be exactly one cupcake per student and no student should be allowed to have an extra. The teacher may have two cupcakes. If a student practices any religion other than Christianity and the student has an objection or special requirement, the room mother must meet those needs. If a student is on the free lunch program, up to 75% of a wealthier student’s cupcake may be taken and redistributed to the student enrolled in the free lunch plan.
“We feel this program more accurately reflects our drive to be more inclusive and provide a non-confrontational environment for our students,” said Glimmer. “And all those students who have birthdays in the summer, like me, will no longer feel left out,” he added.