Over the next few weeks we'll be sharing guest posts from #MSTA12 attendees sharing their thoughts on our 150th convention. Today's post is from Southeast Region President and MSTA Member, Tara Gann.
Sitting at a SERTA Board of Directors meeting in the fall before the 2012 Kansas City Convention, I listen as my fellow Board of Directors discuss school lunches and how their students are going hungry. As a region, we decide to propose a resolution opposing Federal Regulation on school lunches with the hope it would be approved by the Assembly of Delegates.
As we sat in the Assembly of Delegates our resolution opposing Federal Regulation on school lunches brought about debate on both sides of the state. An individual spoke against our proposed resolution and saw the Federal Regulations as a way to control childhood obesity. Immediately the Southeast Region stirred. You can hear the rustling papers and clicking of pens as individuals filled out the requested paperwork to speak. At the table and then the microphone, as the Southeast Region President, I spoke about the need for nutritional nourishment in the Southeast Region because children are going hungry at home. We discussed the food-filled backpacks that go home with students to get them through the nights and weekends because we know that they are not getting any other meals. We also addressed the concern of student athletes eating only 600 calories all day and then are expected to get through practices and games. Speaker after speaker from our region continued to point out the lack of attention students have on their schoolwork when their bellies are growling and the aggression that builds among older students as they go hungry.
Watching the incredible people (educators) on both sides of the state argue points that are clearly personal is truly inspiring. Both sides have deep concerns for the welfare of their students.
The resolution finally passed and the Southeast Region relaxed. However, no matter the outcome, the passion that filled that room was obvious to all in attendance as these incredible people debated on behalf of those who do not have a voice, or a stage, or the resources to say they need more or that they need a change. It is an inspiring to watch Missouri Educators not only do their job but fight for their students!