Beware the in-school candy pushers
Leada Gore, Editor
I attended high school long before the recent push for healthy foods for young people. Our lunches consisted of pizza, French fries and corn (I don’t know how the corn got involved) or hamburgers, French fries and green beans (see note on corn).
These things were served every other day on a rotating basis.
I think I saw a piece of chicken once in my four years of high school. There were cube steak rumors floating around one time, but I think those were unfounded.
Most people I knew brought their lunch from home. As this was also before the backpack era, this usually meant you had a smushed sandwich you kept in your locker until lunch time. It wasn’t exactly appetizing but it was better than the pizza/hamburger treadmill.
By my senior year, I had decided I was sick of pizza, hamburgers and smushed sandwiches. I decided to opt out of lunch altogether. I was an office aide for four periods out of the day (as you can tell, this was before “No Child Left Behind,” too) so instead of going to the lunchroom, I just went to help in the office during my lunch period. To help stave off the hunger – especially since I skipped breakfast to get that extra five minutes of sleep each morning – I would buy M&Ms from some school club member. It seemed someone was always selling M&Ms at our school. For 50 cents, I could purchase my bag of candy and make it through the day, or at least until I could get to the 25-cent hamburger stand after school.
Our teachers hated the M&Ms. We would sneak them in class and then chomp away merrily. Because I worked in the office, I could eat them as I pleased, especially if I bought the secretary some, too.
I thought of all this last week when I read the story about a Connecticut boy who was suspended for a day, barred from attending an honors dinner and removed as class vice president all for purchasing a bag of Skittles during school.
Candy sales had been prohibited by the school system in 2003 as part of an effort to make students healthier. The student, Michael Sheridan, is an honors student who said he didn’t know purchasing a bag of candy was akin – at least in Connecticut – to plotting to overthrow the school. Sheridan conceded, however, the student selling the Skittles was “being secretive.” I guess he was sort of a candy-pusher or something.
School officials later backed off their punishment, cancelling the suspension and restoring his vice presidential title. I’m glad to hear this, as it seems sort of crazy to dish out such harsh treatment to what seems like a good student. And I’m glad these Candy Police weren’t around when I was in high school because if you get a day’s suspension for Skittles, who knows what you’d get for M&Ms? Those peanut ones can be very addictive after all.