Keep Sweets Out of School
By Maxwell Miracle, Copy Editor
Don’t touch those donuts!
The sale of food and beverage items during the school day is a common sight in classrooms and hallways. Everything from candy to fried desserts are sold by school-sponsored organizations and clubs to fund their activities.
However sweet they might be, these sales are strictly against county policy. FCPS regulation 5004.4 prohibits the sale of food or beverage items during school hours by anyone except for the county’s Office of Food and Nutrition Services. In addition, it forbids the sale of foodstuff that do not comply with state and federal nutritional regulations for a further 30 minutes after the bell. This means that every pie, brownie, and lollipop sale conducted on school property before 3:25 PM is illicit.
While it may restrict fundraising options for school sponsored organizations, this rule is an important aspect of preserving a healthy and vibrant learning environment, and it should be observed universally.
There are a multitude of reasons to restrict the selling of food in school, most visible of which is the issue of cleanliness. Anybody who has ever consumed greasy, flaky, or sticky foodstuff knows how much of a mess even the smallest snack can produce. If students could dish out as many treats as they wanted, desks and classroom floors might soon be overrun with crumbs, sticky residue, and unidentifiable leftovers. This would create all sorts of pest and hygiene issues, making janitorial jobs even more difficult.
Regulation 5004.4 is also essential for promoting proper nutrition in the classroom. Healthy eating habits have been shown to improve academic performance and reduce the risk for a wide variety of medical issues, including strokes and certain types of cancer. In a world filled by fast food restaurants and well-stocked candy isles, this regulation creates a place of solace free from the temptations of unhealthy treats. School should be a place to hone smart nutritional skills, not a place where sugary snacks run rampant.
Another important role regulation 5004.4 plays is reducing classroom distractions. Both the consumption and sale of food would steal eyes and ears away from the content being discussed. Money and food are two substances certain to draw attention from all nearby. The fundraisers that would take place without this regulation include both. Instructional time is vital for student growth and development, and every moment of it should be safeguarded against distractions.
Even though regulation 5004.4 might prohibit some go-to fundraising strategies, it in no way prevents school sponsored organizations from raising funds to support their activities. Everything from movie nights to car washes to simple donation requests are still readily available options.
While it may not appeal to the school’s sweet tooth, regulation 5004.4 helps keep the classroom healthy and focused, a treat far superior to any donut.