***THOUGHTS ADDED TO BOTTOM OF POST***
I have a brand new book coming out on March 15th. Casey and Callie Cupcake is a Frosted Fable About Being Fantastic Just the Way You Are! It’s a cute book for kids that teaches them that they’re perfect— just the way they are.
Now, because I’m trying to sell books, I’ve placed a self-imposed ban on posting any opinions on this blog which may be considered controversial. Today, I throw this rule out the window for the sake of those that served or are currently serving in America’s military.
There is a news story about cupcakes gaining national prominence. And it must be addressed— because it’s making me mad. That, and it’s about cupcakes and schools— two things close to my heart.
Do you remember being in school, and how exciting it was on your birthday? Most kids could bring in treats to help everyone celebrate their special day? Last week, 9-year-old Hunter Fountain of Caro, Michigan wanted to take part in this childhood tradition. His Mom brought cupcakes to school for Hunter’s classmates. In a world where politically “correct” bluster hasn’t taken over, the story would have ended there. Happy Birthday!
But no. When Schall Elementary Principal Susan Wright saw these cupcakes, she put her administrative foot down! For these cupcakes were decorated with soldiers! Soldiers! Soldiers with guns! These kind of soldiers:
Who remembers playing with these little guys growing up? I know I do. Kiddos have been playing with these forever! Well, maybe not forever, but the first ones were produced in 1938. It wasn’t until after World War II that they came unpainted, in the green plastic that we’re all familiar with today. So, I’ll make the argument that these characters are stylized after our World War II veterans. These are real American heroes. These men comprise our Greatest Generation, willing to sacrifice all for this exceptional Nation.
These cupcakes were not decorated with little Adam Lanzas. And, no, there wasn’t a little plastic bug-eyed James Holmes.
No, these little green “army men,” as I always called them growing up, are a symbol of America. Children should grow up respecting and honoring the military— and if that comes in the form of plastic army men on cupcakes for a birthday, then so be it. This Principal claims that these cupcakes were “inappropriate,” in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. I’m sorry, Principal Susan Wright, but I think the only thing about this story that’s inappropriate is your decision.
I’ve visited hundreds of classrooms over the past year… read my books to over 50,000 children… spoken with countless teachers. Let me be clear, Principal Wright: there are bigger fish to fry in public schools than a nine-year-old’s birthday cupcakes— starting with the reason that you’re there: educating the kids. Schall Elementary currently ranks 1161 out of 1493 elementary schools in Michigan according to Schooldigger.com. Perhaps, before expending your time and energy on fabricated, media-driven outrage and “insensitivity,” you can focus on creative ways to engage children in learning. I’m sure the parents are thrilled that you’re protecting the kids from 1/2 inch plastic guns, but they’d be ecstatic to hear their kid read a book to them. Or watch them solve a math equation.
My father was a Marine in the Korean War. He never talked much about his service. He passed away in 2009. But I bet Leon Rokicki would shake his head at the way this country has buckled and given in to these desperate people that get offended every time someone sneezes.
The co-author of this book, Joe Kelley, lost his 19-year old Marine brother in 2005. David was on his way back for a second tour in Iraq when he was involved in a training accident. The family was devastated and I’ve never seen such heartbreak up close and personal. But I had a conversation with David a few weeks prior— and he was proud of his decision to join the military and the work that the forces were completing in the Middle East. I bet David played with those little green Army men when he was growing up. And David didn’t walk into a school and start shooting up the place. No… he served his country. He fought for our freedoms. Yes, he fought for little Hunter Fountain to serve cupcakes decorated with plastic soldiers to his classmates.
Principal Wright and the school district in Caro, Michigan need to issue a statement apologizing for this situation. Specifically, they should explain that in no way were they equating violence in schools to those little green Army men that we all grew up with and that were modeled after the Greatest Generation that America has known.
After this post has been online for a couple days, someone pointed something out to me:
Yeppers, Disney even featured these green guys, guns and all, in Toy Story 3. So if they’re good enough for Disney, they’re good enough for cupcakes.
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