Birthday parties in one North Texas school district may not be as sweet this coming school year.
Frisco ISD leaders are discouraging parents from bringing in cupcakes, cookies and other sweet treats to celebrate birthdays and other big occasions, in an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle, prevent distractions from learning and protect kids with allergies.
The district will still have three designated "party days" when parents and grandparents may bring treats the district describes as having "minimal nutritional value."
The following guidance is being drafted for the student handbook for the 2014 to 2015 school year, district spokeswoman Shana Wortham said:
"Beginning with the 2014-15 School year, birthday celebrations at school will not include food and drink items. Children's birthdays are acknowledged in a variety of ways at the elementary schools and this will continue. In the last few years, schools have encouraged alternatives to food, such as donating a book to the library in your child's name on his/her birthday."
The district said it made its plan in an effort to simplify the patchwork of policies in place at different schools. The topic of birthday treats has remained an issue for several years, it said in a letter to parents.
While some parents are sympathetic to the district's concerns, they say it's hard to break with tradition.
"It's hard for birthday parties when parents want to come in," said Laura Culley. "You want your kid to feel special."
"I wish they would do a pre-approved list — like you can bring in cookies but not cupcakes," said Shirley Wright, who has a son entering first grade.
In Texas, because of a rule known as Lauren's Law, it is technically impossible to ban families from sending treats to school to celebrate birthdays or other functions.
Frisco ISD tells NBC 5 it will be working in compliance with the law but will only allow the food to be handed out after school hours.
They encourage parents to send non-edible hand-outs, like pencils or stickers, to celebrate the milestone.