CHARLESTON, W.Va. – It’s been dubbed the “Cupcake bill.” Randolph County Delegate Denise Campbell introduced the legislation this session that calls for the West Virginia Department of Education to ease up a bit on their dietary restrictions for classroom celebrations.

Campbell admitted she’s taken some flack for the bill.

“Even though I know it does not meet the level of the water issue in Charleston and some of the other bills that we’ve taken up, this is important to children. This is important to the parents and it’s important to the teachers,” stressed Campbell.

The “Cupcake” bill would give principals, teachers and parents more say in what’s on the menu at school celebrations.

Back in 2008, Congress passed the Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention America Act or HeLP. It required schools to provide healthier breakfast and lunch food. The West Virginia Department of Education took an additional step prohibiting calorie-laden snacks for school parties.

Campbell felt the state went too far

“I’ve heard parents year after year. They say ‘I can’t believe what [students] have to have as a party!'”

The delegate said the menu at her son’s school Christmas party proved her point.

“A bottle of water, a whole orange and some pretzels.”

Gone are the days of moms making cupcakes and cookies. In fact, parents can’t prepare any party food for schools events outside the cafeteria.

Campbell explained her bill would allow the faculty senate, principal and parents, at a school, to work together to come up with a healthy but tasty menu to celebrate special occasions.

“It allows the parents to be involved again,” she said.

There’s also a lesson to be learned according to Campbell.

“The whole purpose of this is that we need to teach our children moderation.”

The bill passed the House Wednesday. It’s now in the Senate.

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  • Amy

    First of all, let's acknowledge the underlying problem of most of the comments. "Food is fun." Why must we as West Virginian's associate everything we see as fun with food? Therefore, why must a school party have junk food? Or food at all? What about games and crafts, things that classroom time generally doesn't allow for anymore? And if we must have food, why not all of the things that are allowable by the Department of Education? (Pre- packaged and under 200 calories.) As a working mother, this is much easier than baking brownies or cookies, or for heaven's sake, decorating cupcakes. There are several students in schools now who also have special dietary needs; when their party snack has a label it is easy to see if the student can consume it. With a homemade good- not so much. And let's get to the point no one wants to really talk about; do I want my child eating a cookie, brownie or cake that was made in an unsanitary kitchen with expired products on a surface that may have recently been used to cook meth? I think not and neither do you! We have idea where these homemade items originating from...therefore, they are not safe for our children.

  • griff

    pretty sad when the legislature has to decide what is allowed at a school party. Just ban all the parties

  • RedGal

    I think it's sad that the Legislature has to pass a bill to correct the ridiculousness that the WV Board of Ed has mandated. The waste of taxpayer's money in this case rests on the Board of Ed. Maybe they should be more worried about the level of education they are providing the children of this state and give up on the micro management. In addition, they are further alienating the parents from participating in their child's education.

  • rekterx

    The most idiotic thing about this bill is that it is actually necessary in order for their to be cupcakes at a school party.

  • CaptainQ

    This bill is certainly in the running for the Most Idiotic Bill of the Year for 2014, next to last year's winner, the bill that tried to make pepperoni rolls the state's 'Official Food.'

    Way to go, Denise Campbell!

  • a concerned educator

    What's also ridiculous is that the WV Department of Education actually passed a policy that forbids kids from having parties with food such as this. If the Department would focus on the REAL issues of education and stop focusing on ones such as this, maybe the education system would be better in the state.

    • Mason County Contrarian

      Thank you, concerned educator.

      Draconian measures imposed upon the counties are typical of WVDoEd. All local BoEd administrators throughout the state live in fear of (dramatic pause) "The State Department". Accordingly, local administrator and classroom teacher priorities become one of completing mindless paperwork for (dramatic pause) "The State Department" rather than doing the job for which they were hired. The taxpaying public should be up in arms.

      As a retired teacher, I learned quickly that the WVDoEd is staffed with people who dislike their careers, could not take the classroom due to their own ineffectiveness and ineptness, and then determined that the way to solve this was to move up the Food Chain as (an even more dramatic pause) "State Department administrators". These same "authorities in their field" make asinine policies inconsistently applied from county to county while simultaneously requiring needless paperwork from the counties in an effort to complete their own Ed.D. degrees. Some, if not most, are not fit to lead a johnny detail. Their inability to teach is witnessed by their "Death by PowerPoint" presentations presented to staff and faculty statewide at the opening a new school year.

      Children need some fun in their day at school. The WVDoEd has succeeded in eliminating the human side of the education process while widening the gulf between child, parent, and teacher. That should concern all of us.

      It is truly no small wonder that we have any qualified teachers in the classroom, any motivated children to attend school, and encouraged parents to give a hoot.

      Why are not more state legislators raising these concerns?

  • susanf1218

    What a complete waste of time! Seriously?? THIS is what we send our legislators to Charleston to do? The important work of passing a law to allow cupcakes in school?? And w/a little creativity and imagination, the little darlings can have a great party at school, although again why would they need to, especially w/all the concern about the missed school days and having to meet that all important 180 day attendance! There is no time or room in the school calendar for such frivolity as parties and cupcakes.

    • leroy

      its rediculous that it was legislated that way in the first place!

      • JustaFan

        Agreed, we should be more angry that our schools were turned into food Nazis to begin with. It's sad that we need this law, but we do.

  • Shadow

    It seems strange that the Legislature has to pass a bill when all that has to happen is for the Governor to clean out the DOE. What a waste of money. Carrot sticks.....whow!

  • Kathie

    If your biggest concern about your child's school is that he/she can't eat a cupcake or brownie during class time, you probably need to rethink your education priorities. Schools are for learning. Have as many after school/weekend parties with your classmates as you want, but leave the classroom time for learning.

    • rekterx

      Please find one person who claims that their BIGGEST concern is whether or not their child can eat cupcakes at school.

    • JustaFan

      Schools are for learning, but it's pretty sad when some pencil pusher tells me that I can't make brownies for my kid's Christmas party. It was screwed up legislative priorities that made this bill necessary. Kids are forced into a very strict diet at school--no exceptions.

  • Woodchuck

    So let me get this straight- yesterday you passed an unfounded mandate bill to require 30 minutes more exercise a day in our schools and now a bill to let them eat cupcakes. I think you are wasting the taxpayers time and money down there!

  • TC

    Thank God, somebody has some common sense. We have done everything possible to take any fun away from the kids. I should know because I have worked in the school system for 40 years.

  • TomWV

    Holy cow... We have some common sence going here.

  • Independent View

    While our school-age children may have their bodies protected from the disasterous results of suger-laden pasteries such as brownies and cupcakes, their minds are being wasted by wrong-headed curriculum, months of WESTEST preparation and lazy and apathetic teachers.

    • Leo

      Speak for yourself.

  • NCWV

    My contribution for Halloween was returned home with my child a few years ago. I stopped participating in school parties. I didn't volunteer and would decline if asked. There are only so many things you can do with carrot sticks, apples, and celery. For all the whining we're hearing about parents not being involved in school, the messages parents get aren't exactly saying they want our help - just our money.

  • Hillbilly

    Its a shame that we have to pass laws allowing a kid to b e able to eat a cupcake in school... a couple times a year. Its a bigger shame that the legislature spends its time passing this kind of laws, then later spends more time passing laws undoing them

    • Lisa

      And, I'll give that thought an Amen x 2!!!!