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America has a childhood obesity crisis, but parents at District 91 don’t want the schools to mandate what their children eat during school hours.

Results from the district’s wellness survey show that parents “welcome information, but they don’t want schools telling them how to parent,” said Superintendent Lou Cavallo at the April 5 school board meeting.

Of the 133 parents who responded, more than 60 percent were parents of children, grades K-2. Sixty-seven percent of parents voted to continue to allow children to bring sweet treats for birthdays and holiday parties.

“They basically said, back off. They want parties and they don’t want to be told to bring a pencil,” said board member Mary Turek.

The survey results also indicated that parents of younger children didn’t want to be limited about what snacks to bring to school. “They want lists of healthy snacks,” said Cavallo, adding that the Cook County Health Department had information, so “we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”

Parents were adamant about recess though. Almost 70 percent of respondents said recess should never be withheld as punishment or skipped for academic reasons. Most parents voted for 10-20 minutes of recess daily. Parents also said they favored more after-school exercise activities, “but they suggested things we already do,” said Cavallo.

Chillers at Field-Stevenson

The board also voted to accept a bid from Admiral Mechanical Services to replace decades-old air-conditioning chillers at Field-Stevenson. Replacing the aging chillers requires removal by crane and won’t happen before the end of May, Cavallo guessed.

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...