It is a novel concept really. Give kids access to tools, and teach them to use them properly. It might even have the positive effect of getting them to eat more healthy foods. Educator Nancy Easton teamed up with Chef Telepan to found the non-profit “Wellness in the Schools” (WITS). They have tried to resurrect the old idea of “Home-Ec” where food preparation and education was an integral part.
From CBS News: “Give a kid a knife and he may eat more carrots”:
“It’s so important to start young with these children and to start with these skills,” says Easton. “It’s a hands-on lesson where they each have a knife which, as you saw, was the size of a real chef’s knife. And we start with those knives from kindergarten on. So they have this ownership and this pride of cooking something and of course wanting to eat it.”
WITS programs currently work with around 30,000 public school students, even in such hotbeds of hoplophobia as New York City. It is nice to see a small tendril of common-sense knife policy in any public school setting. (OK, the knives are made from nylon, but given the fact that kids get suspended for pop-tarts, we will celebrate progress where we can).
Too often schools lack all sense of critical thought when it comes to knives. Yet they continue to allow baseball bats in PE class, bunson burners in the Chem lab, and the last time I checked, scissors are commonly found in the classroom. However, they will ruin the life of an honor student who brings a small folder in her backpack.