Black market candy in schools

THURSDAY 4-03-08…I have an update on the infamous “candy caper” I told you about last week. An honor student and class president was suspended and stripped of his office because he bought a package of Skittles candy from a classmate. Candy is considered a toxic substance at that New Haven school, and while the kid was eventually reinstated, and his record expunged, it has revealed quite a candy black market in schools everywhere.

According to a Victorville newspaper, with candy sales banned on many school campuses, black market candy sales are the latest trend in Victorville, California schools. Backpacks are filled with snickers and Twinkies for all sweet tooth’s willing to pay the price. According to Jim Nason, principal at Hook Junior high, it’s created a little underground economy with businessmen selling everything from a pack of skittles to energy drinks.

Schools have been individually banning junk food sales for years, and enforcement was increased in 2005 when Governor Schwarzenegger passed legislation to combat childhood obesity. Since then, according to the Victorville newspaper, schools have adjusted by offering more health alternatives like baked chips and granola bars. But the principal says he sees just as much candy and soda as ever, because students still bring it from home — for lunch, and to turn a profit.

School teacher Rolayne Allen says “I think it’s original purpose was pretty good, but it doesn’t’ seem to be making that big of a difference.” In other words, another liberal attempt to make the school feel good only to have it turn around and bite ‘em in the backside….like so many other touchy-feely ideas.

The principal at Hook Junior high says he hasn’t seen any change in student health. He says, they get a good nutritional lunch at school, but looking at our kids and looking at our physical education scores, I don’t’ see how it’s been a highly effective program. And he adds, “as long as kids can get candy from the store and at home, they’ll continue to bring it to school —-and sell it.”

I look at it this way, at least they’re selling candy. They could be selling a lot worse. On the plus side, they’re learning about the entrepreneurial spirit.

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