Dinner Ladies on red-alert
School food fight brings ban
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Castle View School on Canvey Island in Essex experienced some form of hostilities during the lunch period March 20th resulting in food being thrown by pupils. It’s not clear if it was a major skirmish or an isolated sniper attack but one boy in year 7 (age 11-12) was hit near the eye by a triangular shaped flapjack.
Despite not requiring offsite medical attention, the school has banned the afore mentioned “weapon”, requiring them to be baked in different shapes in the future.
Canvey Island isn’t really an island! It’s possible to walk west to the A13 Stanford-le-Hope by-pass. You’ll probably get wet feet but non-swimmers will make it alive. The more convenient way in to Canvey is across 100 feet or so of the East Haven Creek via the Canvey Way or the Canvey Road (no prizes there for original naming). For the British, Canvey therefore has the rare distinction of following an American custom of calling things that are not as though they are.
Back to the canteen action! An unnamed source has been quoted as saying:
“It is true, it did happen. During lunchtime on Wednesday a boy was injured by a triangular flapjack that was thrown across the canteen. He went to the first aid office. It looked a bit sore but wasn’t life-threatening or anything like that. It was an injury around his eye, it hit his face. He didn’t need to go to hospital. It was an accident and no one got in trouble. The headteacher made the decision. I think whoever was in charge of the cafeteria reported the incident and from there the decision was made. It only covers flapjacks at the minute. The flapjacks are made on site.”
Following this the cooks and dinner ladies (elderly lunchtime pupil police) were instructed that the said weapon of choice would no longer be produced in the triangular shape. For some reason, producing them with more injury producing corners is OK, i.e. square or rectangular shaped, maybe it’s felt that with more sides it becomes less aerodynamic.
The incident has not been reported on the school website. Headteacher Gill Thomas, in her most recent blog, did mention the staff v student basketball match on March 15th, and congratulated the year 11 (age15-16) boys basketball team for doing the double, winning both league and cup competitions.
Absurdity can best illustrate truth and this certainly appears to be the case here. Food assaults, particularly by adolescent boys, have been around for eternity. We would not be surprised to hear the young descendants of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob tossing the odd kosher bagel in mock preparation for engaging one of their foes.
The flapjacks in question are probably more harmful being eaten than being thrown at you. They generally contain rolled oats, fat (typically butter), brown sugar and usually golden syrup. Ms. Thomas should be glad she’s not in the USA lest Michelle Obama and her food-police show up to ban them from consumption. (Although they may be allowed under pending gun-control legislation)
Despite the fact that the physical injury was insignificant, with kids picking up minor scrapes like this daily, the school felt a ban was necessary. This is a classic example of government overreach. Read-and-react politics consistently rule the day as the school feels it has to do something, even if it doesn’t fix a thing.
In fact that is the biggest misnomer. Stuff happens and it’s OK, we’ll deal with the consequences. But nanny-state thinking constantly believes we have to act to prevent the next incident. In reality, facing and dealing with less-than-perfect occurrences in school and elsewhere is where we learn some of life’s greatest lessons. That is a lesson that Castle View School, in this instance, has failed to teach.