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The Right Note: There Oughtta Be A Policy

Mark KellyThe Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

It is easy to find amusing news. Last year, the Virginia General Assembly debated a bill on whether schools should be allowed to have bake sales to raise money. This year the question is, should Arlington Public Schools pass a ban on birthday parties?

Maybe like me you are thinking, come on, this birthday party ban can’t be a serious proposal. But we live in a world where personal responsibility is waning and calls for government to “do something” is growing. So let’s take a look at the arguments made at the most recent Arlington School Board meeting to see whether we should all be concerned.

Health. You could make the argument that centering a celebration around a sugar-laden treat is setting a bad example for a healthy lifestyle. And childhood obesity is a long-term health concern for our nation. But we can dismiss the idea that consuming two or three cupcakes per month is making kids obese. Daily choices on what children consume for about 90 meals a month and how much time they spend in active play are what is really important.

Creates a tough learning environment. It is not unreasonable to say having sugary snacks at a party could make some kids too hyper to learn. Teachers can easily solve that by having them right before recess or at the end of the day.

Inconveniencing teachers. This concern was raised in terms of parents bringing in ice cream and pies in need of refrigeration by teachers. But it sounds like some teachers don’t want the hassle of serving birthday treats. Instead, it seems at least some teachers want an overarching Arlington-wide policy to take the treats away from everyone else just so they don’t have to be the mean teacher who won’t allow treats in their classroom.

How about just setting a reasonable policy for your classroom and communicating it to parents? Mom, if you want ice cream in my class, you bring it 30 minutes before the end of the day and serve it. Or, no ice cream please, but I will be happy to pass out cookies or cupcakes 15 minutes before recess.

In short, instead of running to the school board to pass a policy, how about letting some common sense prevail and move on to more pressing issues facing our schools?

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(This Community Post was written by the [Arlington Chorale](http://arlingtonchorale.org/) and underwritten by [Embracing Arlington Arts](https://embracing-arlington-arts.org/).

Since the Arlington Chorale returned to in-person singing one year ago, local amateur singers have been signing up for auditions in unprecedented numbers. “Thirty of our current members joined within the last year,” says Ingrid Lestrud, Artistic Director. “Many of them have recently moved to Arlington, and they want to join a community. Chorale members get to sing beautiful music and meet a diverse group of people who love singing as much as they do!”

The singers are busy preparing their December 10 concert, Christmas Joy! Featuring John Rutter ‘s Magnificat and Kirke Mechem’s _Seven Joys of Christmas_ , audiences will hear familiar Christmas carols, as well as beautiful music with hints of tango, musical theatre, and jazz. The singers will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra of local professional players, and the concert will highlight the talents of soprano Helena Colindres. Members of the Chorale’s outreach group, the Youth Community Council, and select singers from the Chorale will be singing Christmas carols outside the venue as audience members arrive. After the performance, everyone is invited to join the singers downstairs for a reception with light refreshments. It’s a special community event you won’t want to miss! Tickets are $20 for adults and free for children under 12 available here. Please join the Arlington Chorale on **Saturday, December 10 at 5:00 PM at Westover Baptist Church!**

Submit your own Announcement here.

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