DALLAS TWP. — Yes, public debate about the issue up for a vote is important. Give each side a chance to explain its positions and why you should support its proposal.
But in the end it, was Hideki Takagi who got to the gist of the complex vote he and fellow fifth-grade students at Wycallis Elementary were about to make Monday.
“Do we get to eat the cookies?”
The young man is not afraid to ask the tough questions.
About 96 students had just listened to a short presentation by state Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Lehman Township, who quizzed them on, among other things, “how a senator is like a fifth-grader.”
Fill in your own quips here.
Baker noted senators have to know math and social studies, read and write reports, have legitimate excuses to get out of a senate vote and have their own cafeteria.
Then Baker introduced four duly-elected “senators” — one from each fifth-grade classroom. The school senators brought a weighty, and delicious, matter to the table: selection of the Wycallis school cookie.
The honorable senator anonymous (she didn’t want her name used) pitched peanut butter. “It’s not like actual peanut butter, it’s not all sticky and stiff. You can dunk it. It’s very flavorful and delicious. And you can put Reese’s peanut butter cup on top to make it more peanut buttery.”
Next up, Sen. Tegan Ostroski, who insisted chocolate chip cookies “are amazing. When hot, they just melt in your mouth. The outside is crispy and the inside is gooey.”
Sen. Janice Lisman touted the Oreo’s versatility. “It’s good to dunk in milk. You can crumble it up on ice cream, and it comes in lots of flavors.”
And Sen. Dylan Roberts highlighted the medicinal value of sugar cookies: “There’s lots of sugar on it, so it can really make you hyper so you do your work.”
Asked about peanut allergies, Sen. Anonymous said surely you could make peanut butter cookies “with some imagination, and fake peanuts.”
Alas, the class didn’t buy it. The vote: Oreos, 29; chocolate chip, 27; sugar cookies, 21; and peanut butter, 10. As to Takagi’s piercing question, Baker conceded she had not brought cookies out of concern the district policy did not allow food from outside.
But surely someone will challenge the vote. Not only did Oreo get to run as multiple cookies — Lisman cited strawberry and party cake Oreos, to name just two. The whole thing felt like an aristocracy. Why does fifth grade get to decide the cookie for the whole school?
“This is an aristocracy,” Principal Paul Reinert smiled. “They spend their whole time here waiting to get to fifth grade so they can call the shots.”