The Pennsylvania Department of Education is proposing some tough rules regarding the hosting of parties in school classrooms.

Under the proposals, parents would be permitted to have a single treat at such things as birthday parties held in the school, and only one birthday celebration would be permitted per month.

While nutrition is very important for school children, the rules on parties tends to be overboard.

First, the rule for a single treat diminishes the diversity for such a party. Taken in its contextual state, it means that parents couldn't provide both cake and a take-home favor. Or, both cake and ice cream couldn't be served together.

What a way to ruin the fun of a party!

For smaller schools, the rule of hosting a single party a month is also a way to diminish a tinge of fun in the classroom. In some schools, a calendar is sent home with planned birthday parties listed. The children look forward to these parties. It's a break from the reading, writing, and 'rithmetic.

Certainly education is the primary reason for schools. But parties break the every day monotony and improve the social skills of students, especially younger ones.

The Department of Education seems to have at its helm a group of sour pusses who don't know what it's like to be a child or they wouldn't consider such party-pooping rules.

We do agree with the Center for Disease Control's regulations that parties shouldn't have items at parties or bake sales that baked in home kitchens, such as cakes, for reasons such as cleanliness and disease control.

Putting more stringent rules than this on the parties is not in the best interest of the students, even if nutrition is the reason. Let nutrition be stressed for breakfasts and lunches, where government funds are utilized.

Let parties continue to be parties.

By Ron Gower

rgower@tnonline.com [1]