The Patch article about Decatur is missing important information, some of which was fortunately brought up by a commenter.
The majority of the article showed the concern about chocolate milk in the context of "not enough calories" and based on one non-professional's observation that one "meal" was around 200 Calories.
However, school lunches are regulated. A commenter provided the regulations. The key point in the regulations is that school lunches for grades K-5 have to provide ~600 Calories. When that is understood, the remaining points made by parents interviewed for the article are moot. If the school was in fact not offering ~600 Calories meals, they would not pass inspection and lose funding for the meals.
It may be that the child only chose to eat certain of the foods that were offered. But the best choice for the child is not to make up the difference with sugar just to get the calories. The parent needs to instill in the child the importance of eating a variety of foods. The school needs to make sure that the foods offered are palatable. But not by just offering high sugar foods.
With regard to concerns "why chocolate milk and not other changes to the food." I have observed many school lunch transformations. I have never seen chocolate milk singled out and I am sure that was not the case in this school. By the time schools decide to phase out chocolate milk, they have already made many transformations. Removing chocolate (or other flavored) milk is consistently one of the last steps in lunch transformations. Things like soda, even juice, and other low nutrition items always precede chocolate milk.
With regard to an earlier comment "Here is a novel idea, dont cut phys. ed.": The school wellness policy includes phys ed in the schools. So, that is already happening.
The article was an opinion piece (low journalistic standards), not an expose, and requested responses without setting adequate context for people to make a meaningful judgement.
A good resource for finding out what is happening in your state can be found at take.actionforhealthykids.org. (With some effort - it is not the easiest to navigate.) The context in which the Decatur schools were transforming food, nutrition, and physical activity can be found in GA specific documents on their web site available here: http://take.actionforhealthykids.org/site/Clubs?club_id=1110&pg=docsView Thread