HS Insider

Opinion: The ban on school junk food sales protects students’ safety

(Photo by Ryan Quintal)

Everyone has been there — you’re in class, stomach growling, and you look through your bag to find that you have a complete lack of anything to eat. Lucky for you, the kid two seats over is here to save the day with a bag of Hot Cheetos for the low, low price of one dollar.

In this scenario, everyone involved wins right? The seller makes money, and the buyer walks away with a bag of chips that can satisfy his hunger, so is selling chips, candy, etc. really that bad? The simple answer is yes.

Let’s take a look at why some students sell in the first place.

“They [student sellers] can actually save it for their college years as well, or for things that they would go out and buy for school supplies,” Carson freshman Yahir Patino said.

Patino makes a good point in that some students struggle financially at home, and selling chips is one way students can help parents, or even buy things that they would need for school such as notebooks, pens, pencils, etc. Students may also use this money to pay for things such as uniforms or other supplies for sports or activities that they participate in.

Most students would agree with Patino, that students should be able to sell during school. However, if you look at this from the perspective of the school, you’ll see why selling food items becomes a bad idea.

“I don’t believe they [students] should. My main concern is safety for the student,” Mary Vasquez, a CHS math teacher said. “Once it’s known that they are selling chips, drinks, etc. then the student body knows that those students have money on them, and that makes them a target for being robbed.”

Vasquez also recalled several years ago when the school newspaper wrote about students who sell snacks. The newspaper reported some students made $2,000 a month, Vasquez said.

She brings up a good point that students often walk away with a lot of money from all of their transactions — roughly $100 a day in cash. If the student didn’t have a safe way of getting home such as a ride from a parent or guardian, it would be easy to follow them after school and catch them off guard. Unfortunately, even if this wasn’t a problem, the school wouldn’t be able to lift the ban anyway.

Carson’s Dean of Students Glenn Allen Jr. said that the sale of candy, chips, soda and high fat or high calorie items are prohibited on campus, according to California education codes 49431, 49431.2, 49431.5, and 49431.7. This rule applies throughout the entire school day, and also applies for team or club fundraisers, Allen said.

The ban isn’t simply from the school, or even the district, it’s from the state. 

For the foreseeable future, the ban on students selling chips is here to stay, and while many students want to see it lifted, it’ll be better if it remains. The health and safety benefits of reducing obesity, and risk of students being a target of robbery outweigh the little monetary gain, that could be obtained in other ways such as a job, that a few students will receive.

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