School says no to cakes, cookies

by Celia Shortt

Brooks Elementary School in north Coweta has changed its policy for birthday snacks and is not allowing cupcakes, cookies, or cake to be brought in this school year because of safety reasons and the desire to create a positive environment for students.

Dr. Julie Raschen, principal at Brooks, said in the past, approximately 10 percent of Brooks’ students have had a food allergy, with the most common ones being peanuts, gluten, strawberries and blueberries.

“When parents have brought in goodies for birthdays, oftentimes these children are not included in the snack because of dietary restrictions and have felt left out,” she said. “Parents can still send in treats for their child's birthday, we just ask that they not be food items.”

“Although our first priority above all else is the safety of our students, we are also trying to create an environment in which all students feel included and not singled out,” she added. “So both safety and a positive environment for all students were the reasons for this change.”

Information sent out to fifth grade students said these changes were due to “new dietary restrictions” and new national health/food regulations. The same information also said students were not allowed to bring snacks. Raschen clarified and corrected both items.

“This a school-based decision due to the high number of students with significant allergies at Brooks,” she said. “It was done to help us protect students from receiving baked goods that we could not ensure ingredients and cooking utensils were safe from allergens. It did not come as a result of any national requirement about food.”

Raschen did say there have been some changes to national food guidelines, but those only pertain to foods the school sells and the requirements for fundraisers.

“Students may bring any food they choose to personally eat for lunch or snack,” she said. “The only thing we are limited in is requirements for fundraisers.”

Fifth grade teachers will be sending home a letter with students on Wednesday to clarify any confusion.

Dean Jackson, public information officer for the Coweta County School System said this type of procedure is different in every school, but each school’s allergy needs are different. They create the procedure which works best with their student population.

He also said this new policy at Brooks does not apply to holiday celebrations or snacks.



More Local

Two suspects arrested in homicides

Two suspects have been arrested and charged in Monday's double homicide on Widgeon Trail. Kenya Nneaka Sewell, 26, and Jarico Deshun Brown, ... Read More


Family, friends: Defendant is sleepwalker

Day four of the trial of Benjamin Tyler Gray for the alleged rape of a woman in Senoia saw his defense team call a DNA expert to the stand T ... Read More


Senoia Council

‘Walking Dead’ fence has to come down

The chain-link fence that has provided secure parking and storage for equipment used in the filming of “The Walking Dead” in dow ... Read More


Parent/Teacher Conferences

Ruth Hill to implement new model

Ruth Hill Elementary School was recently selected as one of 10 schools in Georgia to implement Academic Parent Teacher Teams, a new parent-t ... Read More


Defense draws judge’s ire in rape case

The trial of a Newnan man indicted for rape continued in Coweta County Superior Court early Monday. Attorneys were able to hear the testimon ... Read More

Rape Trial

Connections, memories part of testimony

Three witnesses were called to testify in Monday afternoon’s session of the trial of Benjamin Tyler Gray, 29, accused of rape after an ... Read More