Candy Prohibition: Is there a double standard?

In fundraising, it is obvious that you need to sell what people are buying. It’s the simple business of supply and demand. And in a high school, nothing sells faster than food. Not to mention that food is also one of the more fun things to sell too. It is hard to find something else that teenagers will pay for. Recently, federal laws were passed that bans the sale of junk food like: candy bars, lollipops, candy canes, even our beloved DECA cookies in schools. Even sentimental fundraisers like “Kiss our Seniors Goodbye” were taken away this year, a tradition that most of us have been looking forward to. These laws, while good on paper for defeating childhood obesity, are not being carried out with that intent. Fundraisers are to be altered, and students can no longer look forward to some sweet traditions. When we lose these things, we lose school spirit and we almost lose interest in the clubs they support. However, there is a double standard when it comes to club fundraisers and sport fundraisers. Why were these, of all things, taken away while concessions can still sell Domino’s pizza and Buffalo Wild Wings? Are they not both fundraisers? With the allowance of our candy sales, the students are happier, as well as the clubs these funds endorse. They are what makes money.

The changes are not just at the OHS; they are for all schools in our district. Making kids healthy and helping them move towards a better lifestyle is one thing; however, it feels that the district is following rules just because they are being threatened by the removal of funding. If they really care about the students, should they not enforce those healthy rules at all school events? After 3:00 P.M., the notion that students must remain healthy goes out the window because they want to keep boosters happier than keeping students healthier.

Healthy living goes beyond candy. Exercise is important for staying fit. OHS students are only required to take one credit of physical education, which most people take in the beginning of their freshman year. After sixth grade, recess is unavailable. A little amount of candy hurts us so much that it is taken away, but no physical education is added? This is especially important for the long Minnesota winter months. If the Food and Nutrition Services and our administration are actually concerned with the full well-being of their students, they should look at all aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

The issue does not stem from the policy itself, but the execution of it. Clubs are being unfairly punished for functioning during the day while sport boosters are allowed to sell their fundraisers in the evening. The application of policy changes nothing for one group and everything for others. That is beyond unacceptable.  Where do policy makers draw the line?

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