Hi -- I’ve noticed with increasing frequency that our elementary school is using junk food -- candy, bubble gum, licorice, etc. -- as a reward for “good behavior.” I dislike the district’s pervasive use of rewards to get kids to obey school rules, but using junk food for that purpose is particularly objectionable, especially in a society where childhood obesity is becoming an epidemic. It also seems to violate the district’s wellness policy. Would you be willing to make it clear that ICCSD schools should not use junk food as a reward?I'll post any reply that I receive.
Thank you for your consideration.
UPDATE 1: Here is the superintendent's reply:
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. While in my previous district I worked to end the sale of all pop during the school day and eliminate the use of candy and other related food as rewards in classrooms. We develop a very comprehensive Food and Beverage Guideline. I cannot locate a copy of that this morning, however, I will do so and bring that to Susie Poulton, Director of Health and Student Services.Readers, is that a “No”?
I know that you have been very active in working to improve the nutrition focus in our District. I recently worked with Assistant Superintendent Becky Furlong to review with our principals the current lunch practices. Some of the changes made last year seem to be working at some schools. Others are not working as well. Becky is working with the Elementary Principals to gather a comprehensive records of the current lunch room practices so that the schools can learn from each other and work to provide the best environment for the children. One promising practice that has been reported is the movement of recess prior to lunch. I know from the reports at my house that at both the elementary and junior high school levels that students still have concerns about the length of the lunch period. While we have not identified a solution that meets all expectations, we are working to that end.
If you have further input on either of these issues, I would welcome additional correspondence or a call.
UPDATE 2: My reply:
Thanks for the quick reply. What I'm after is an authoritative statement from the district prohibiting the use of junk food as a reward in school. I don't think that would require the passage of a new policy; just an application of the existing wellness policy. I can certainly understand wanting to hear from Susie Poulton on the issue first, but am I right to assume that you make the ultimate call on how to interpret that policy? If so, how long do you anticipate it will take to make that decision? The practice of using junk food as a reward seems so plainly indefensible that it would surprise me if there had to be a lengthy consideration of the issue. Would we be talking about a few days?His very quick reply:
Good Afternoon Chris,My reply:
The short answer is yes, I make that decision and yes, that should not require a lengthy re-write of policy.
I want to make sure that appropriate members of the administrative are part of the decision and on board with enforcement to insure that it is not a proclamation in name only.
Sounds reasonable. Any time frame?His reply:
I have to meet with Susie on another issue on Monday morning. If we have enough time we will add this to the agenda. If not, I am sure we can make some determination before the end of the week.To which I responded, "Terrific -- thank you." Stay tuned . . .