Did you know it’s illegal to reward kids for good grades or behavior with a little piece of candy?

Cherry Now-and-Later candy was a big incentivizer for me in the fourth grade, but under the current regime, which is championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, my elementary school teachers could have faced the firing squad.

In another unbelievable story of government policing what kids put in their mouths at school, a West Virginia Pre K-8 teacher faces big trouble for allegedly violating federal rules by providing wrapped candy to her students. The candy was to award her students but when the county’s Schools Director of Child Nutrition Kay Maynard got wind of this infraction, she called officials at the West Virginia Department of Education to report the incident.

As a result the teacher originally faced a possible fine. Parents aren’t willing to sweep this under the rug. When news spread about the penalty, parents and student mobilized, collecting funds to pay the potential fine on the teacher’s behalf.

However, the state’s department of education decided against fining the teacher and instead requiring that the school where the incident occurred develop a corrective action plan including indoctrination – errrrrr training – on child nutrition policies.

Here’s more on this story:

By participating in the National School Lunch Program, the school district must adhere to edicts handed down from Washington, D.C.

Those rules state that food, such as “wrapped candy,” cannot be used as “a reward and it cannot be withheld as a punishment.”

Administrators with Mingo County Schools claim the federal rules were developed “to help educators encourage students to make healthy decisions.”

If they’re not strictly followed, schools can be required to return federal school lunch money, be penalized for state and federal food service programs, or make all schools in the county vulnerable to similar punishment.

If you’re a teacher in a tax-funded school, there’s an expectation that you follow the rules, but what happens when the rules are overreaching, lack common sense, and remove discretion from educators?

We report regularly on the zero-tolerance policies in schools that exact harsh penalties on unsuspecting students for simple children’s play.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign has hoisted onto school systems a labyrinth of new regulations and standards that are leaving students hungry and dissatisfied and dumpsters full of wasted food that no one finds appetizing.

Furthermore, teachers are left looking over their shoulders with everything they do. When nutritionists drop the dime on teachers for handing out small amounts of candy in their classes, because policies explicitly say that candy can’t be used to reward or withheld as punishment, that has a chilling effect on teachers. Not only does it engender mistrust among educators that every single thing they do will be under scrutiny, it robs them of what may be a helpful tool in their classroom.