School Fined $15,000 Because Bookstore Sold Soda During Lunch

A high school in Utah says it won’t be able to pay for some of its arts programs this year because it’s been hit with a $15,000 federal fine after the school’s bookstore was caught allegedly selling soda during lunch time.

“Nobody realized our bookstore also sold carbonated beverages,” the school’s principal tells KUTV in Salt Lake City.

And while the principal admits that an error was made, he feels that the rule banning the sale of sodas and candy “is vague and open to interpretation. For example, the way the rule reads -= you can buy before lunch starts a carbonated beverage, buy school lunch, sit down in the cafeteria, eat the school lunch and not be in violation.

“You can sell Snickers and Milkyway bars because they have nuts and they’re nutritious. You can’t sell licorice, but you can sell ice-cream.”

He is also concerned that these rules will have students simply bringing in more outside food — or venturing off-campus to purchase the items they want at grocery stores and gas stations.

In the meantime, the school has unplugged all vending machines, lest they face additional fines of $.75/student lunch.

Davis High Fined $15,000 For Selling Soda []

Thanks to Chris for the tip!


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  1. Raider Duck says:

    The Nanny State at its worst.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      If the school want’s & receives federal Child Nutrition Act funds for school lunch programs .. then yes.. the feds can attach conditions to those funds.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Things were definitely simpler when I was in elementary and junior high. Students were just given 45 minutes at noon to either walk home and eat lunch or eat a packed lunch in the school gym. I lived in Pittsburgh, which wasn’t exactly Mayberry. We had a cafeteria in high school but the food was awful and students had to do “volunteer” duty a few times per semester (pretty much like KP in the Army).

        It’s pretty much the opposite now. My kids have to purchase a lunch from school. I always assumed this had more to do with lobbying by Sysco or Sodexho than any federal requirement. There’s a lot of money to be made selling low grade food to schools, prisons, and the military.

        • CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

          It has to do with security for schools and saving time so they can have shorter lunches because no one has to leave.

          I liked the school lunches having hot food every day.
          My school always had pretty good lunches with a fruit and vegetable side every day.
          I wish I could get such a good lunch now as an adult for lunch.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            It was pretty terrible when I was in high school — Thinking of those giant, white cans marked “USDA” still makes me a little queasy to this day. When I was in jr high and elementary school, I used to walk down to the mill and eat lunch with my dad. I have very fond memories of those days.

            The lunch my daughters get are slightly better, maybe a grade up from McDonalds but I’d much rather pack a healthy lunch. At school, they eat the usual canned veges, canned syrupy fruit, and lots of chicken patties, fish sticks, chicken nuggets, burgers, etc. It’s definitely not worth what they charge. Jamie Oliver actually featured our local school district a few years ago. Sadly, nothing changed as a result.

            • CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

              Your school district sucks.
              My school system has awesome lunches.

              • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                It’s just incredibly poor and there’s no getting blood from a stone.

        • varro says:

          I lived in suburban Pittsburgh, but our campus was closed (no leaving during lunch). Pop machines on except for lunch, then later, only after lunch, then only right before school was ending.

          Then again, every club was selling candy for their activities. Certain homerooms sold donuts in the morning, and people who had classes later bought the extras.

      • Actionable Mango says:

        A warning would be nice. Instead, the school’s arts programs will be cut.

        • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

          We don’t know if a warning was given or not or if this was repeat offense. The article does not elaborate – but only talks to the principal who’s in the hot seat and needs to cover his butt.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Whose choice was it to cuts the arts program and not foodball or the principal’s own salary?

          Right…the principal. Blame him/her.

          • stevenpdx says:

            The principal’s salary does not come out of the soda-machine revenue.

            Do you not understand the concept of fund accounting?

            • Jawaka says:

              It comes out of general expenses as do the art classes.

              Or do you think that the art classes are paid for out of an account under the name of “soda machine profits”?

              • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                In our local district, unless something is state-mandated, supplies virtually always come from a secondary revenue source (concessions, vending machines, fundraising, etc.). Our district is incredibly poor, so maybe it’s not the norm.

                • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

                  It very well could be the norm that a principal says that certain arts programs are paid for by X or Y secondary funding. But unless there’s a grant or federal/state mandate there is no requirement that certain funds go to certain places; it’s all pooled together into a single budget.

                  If a school decides to say arts is only funded by X secondary funding, it means they simply don’t really care about the program and want that excuse as a scapegoat when they cut the funding.

            • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

              I guess you just didn’t understand.

              The principal could have taken a hit from his salary instead of ruining it for the kids’ programs. He could have distributed it evenly amongst all programs.

              But no, it’s only the arts programs being harmed. That was a choice. A choice made by the school leadership.

        • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

          “Davis High School was denied federal school lunch program funds on days it was found to have violated the lunch-hour ban on junk food, she said. The most recent violation was May 9, but the school was previously cited for violations throughout December and January.”

        • Jawaka says:

          Actually the school is just being fined. They chose to take the money from the art program.

          I have a hard time understanding how a school principal can not know that there’s a soda machine in his school’s book store.

      • Raider Duck says:

        And apparently a condition is that students not be allowed to buy sodas. Note that non-carbonated “fruit drinks” are probably allowed, even if they are no healthier.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          I’m sure the HFCS juices are exempted, as long as they are sold by whoever has the contract to supply the cafeteria.

        • Brontide says:

          The regulations may be silly, but at least it’s an attempt. Personally there are a lot more steps that should be taken.

          I don’t care if they bring it from home, at least that returns some level of control and responsibility to the family.

          • jimbo831 says:

            I completely disagree. “Silly” regulations are why so many people in this country think all government regulations are terrible and we should do away with all of them. If they want to get rid of unhealthy food, why target only soda? What about juice drinks, chocolate milk, pizza, fries, etc? It looks stupid and quite frankly isn’t going to help anything. Waste of money and effort.

        • jimbo831 says:

          I know my school always had a ton of chocolate milk. There is way more sugar in chocolate milk than any soda.

    • Kate says:

      And yet because this was done in California, kids ate a significant less total of calories a day and will be that much less likely to be fat and diabetic when they are an adult.


      • INDBRD says:

        What article were you reading? Based on the article I read… this happen in Utah… o_O

        • LabGnome says:

          I will tell you that the standard practice in Utah is already to leave and get food elsewhere. Kids will get their sugar, now they will just be madly driving to somewhere and back in the minuscule amount of time that is allotted for lunch.

          I suppose it does teach kids to plan ahead? Bring a soda from home for lunch?

    • Zclyh3 says:

      Public school is optional you know. Don’t like said policies? Send your kids to private.

      • Stormwalker says:

        That’s right! I’ll just vote with my wallet and take my business and money elsewh… oh wait.

      • crispyduck13 says:

        That is about the worst argument I’ve ever heard on this topic.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          And yet, it’s valid.

          • crispyduck13 says:

            No it’s not. Public school is not the option, it is the basic necessity funded directly from taxes that the public must pay. There’s nothing optional about it.

            Private school is the option if you’re wealthy enough.

            • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

              It’s AN option, I didn’t say it was THEY option.

              No idea what you’re trying to get at. If you don’t like your Nanny State, change it or go somewhere else.

              As pointed out, they received money in exchange for following certain guidelines. Then failed to follow them.

            • Zclyh3 says:

              Remember that having kids is optional too. No one is forcing you to have them. This argument is the same for public schools in your area. Don’t like it? Move. Don’t like the policies?

              Then change them, or go to a private school where you have more say in the matter (it’s expensive for a reason because they don’t get the same federal funding, which also means they don’t have to abide by federal guidelines aka bureaucracy)

              • MrRichPeoples says:

                “Remember that having kids is optional too. No one is forcing you to have them.”

                There are rape and incest victims in Kansas that beg to differ.

              • JennQPublic says:

                Being a child is not optional, it’s something that is forced on them.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        In my state, private schools have to abide by the same lunch requirements as the public schools.

    • tooluser says:

      Oh no, it can get much worse than this, citizen.

    • dush says:

      If the title was “School officials stripped and publicly flogged because bookstore sold soda during lunch” then I might agree with you.

    • aleck says:

      Actually, this is pretty much in line with free market forces. The school is bound by the rules only if they choose to take government lunch funding. They are free not to do that.

      Let’s put things into perspective here. The alternative, as it was several years ago, was for a school to sell its beverage selling rights to a local Coke or Pepsi distributor. Then instead of a “Nanny State”, we would have a “Coke state”, which can be even more ridiculous. Remember the student who was suspended for wearing a Pepsi shirt on a “Coke day”?

    • Splendid says:

      a nanny for the children. i’m cool with this.

    • Difdi says:

      No, the Nanny State at its worst would be forcibly sending all the students of the school to Fat Camp because one can of soda was found in the school during lunch.

  2. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    This is good because the Federal Government should be completely regulating all foods and penalties should be severe. The grocery stores and gas stations should also be fined for selling non-government-approved things to children children children!!

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      Grocery stores and gas stations don’t receive federal funds to provide school lunches.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        But they receive WIC and SNAP.

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        Grocery stores and gas stations don’t receive any federal funds, but that doesn’t mean you can buy a bazooka there. Why not?

        Because the Federal Government has made it quite clear that they can regulate anything they want using the Commerce Clause (see arguments for Obamacare at the Supreme Court). Therefore they can regulate food.


        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          I’m not really sure what your angle here is, sarcasm or not. Either way, you’re making yourself pretty ignorable.

        • Jaynor says:

          Well clearly it’s our god-given right to buy bazookas where and when we want. They are strictly used for the hunting of ducks or maybe pesky illegals wandering across our lots late at night.

          The problem is all of these pansy democratic rules and regulations that stop us from actually hunting human beings as our children chug mountain dew out of their bottles at daycare. When the invasion comes these pansy pinko liberals will have no way to defend themselves from the army that could totally get to our land and take us over, thus totally validating the possession of personal assualt weapons.



        • Levk says:

          I am not too sure schools get federal funding as well, >.> the way they always cutting things and the vending machines which makes them money is being asked to be removed, yes yes we understand we need books but you see they cost money..

        • chargernj says:

          What is this “Obamacare” that everyone keeps talking about. I mean if it was passed into law I should be able to find it on an official government website. I find it on alot of right-wing, tea-party, extremist sites, but nothing from the Federal Government.

          I guess what I’m really trying to say is, don’t use partisan code words if you want to have a serious conversation about something.

    • Anticitizen says:

      I sure hope this is sarcasm.

  3. Hi_Hello says:

    “Nobody realized our bookstore also sold carbonated beverages,” said Davis High Principal Dee Burton.

    Will the person operating the bookstore be fired for selling things not approved by the principal? how does this work?

    we didn’t have a bookstore…so I don’t know how this works…we had a little closet room that sell gym uniform, that’s it.

    oh as we have lunch throughout the the whole day. Suck for those who has morning lunch but awesome for those who has the last lunch period.
    which mean, our school would be fine like crazy. I should visit the school to see if they have any more soda vending machines.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      When I was in high school, our bookstore/cantina was run by the student body and funded activities, intramural stuff, and was essentially an unpaid internship for students. Outside of a teacher who double checked the books, it was pretty much entirely a student thing.

      It sold candy bars, soda, books, notebooks, pencils, etc.

    • Raider Duck says:

      I’m sure the principal was well aware of what the bookstore sold. On the other hand, he may NOT have been aware that bookstore beverage sales would count as violations of this stupid rule.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        That’s my guess too. It seems strange that it would.

        Would kids selling candy bars to send the band to New York City also be banned? Would the ban just apply during lunch periods?

        • Oddfool says:

          Depends on the school or district. My daughter’s band is restricted from selling candy bars during school, but the school has no say once the final bell rings. (Although, students from a nearby school say their school doesn’t enforce that, even though they’re in the same district.)

      • bravohotel01 says:

        The bookstore has no business selling candy–liquid or solid.

        If the sugar-filled snowflakes can’t make it through the day without their fix, then the parental units would do well for a visit from CPS to …encourage… them to take a class on proper nutrition.

        And yes, I am an “activist parent.” If our spawn’s school suddenly had an aneurysm and started selling candy on campus, then the Principal would have a mob on her hands. Fortunately, she’s actually a very smart lady, so the only way she’d allow that to happen would be orders from above.

  4. Emperor Norton I says:

    The fine is just 75¢ per student lunch & it added up to $15,000?

    • az123 says:

      Probably total number of lunches that were sold throughout the school year.

    • VintageLydia says:

      75 cents/per school lunch which means for every lunch sold over a certain time period. It’s almost the end of the school year so it doesn’t even have to be a large school to get to this fine.

      • tooluser says:

        So I would guess then that the Feds knew about the violation early in the year, but decided to wait until the fines had gotten really big so they could make some extra cash, rather than just telling the school they had an oversight and needed to fix it.

        Oh there’s all sorts of fun games to play when you are the Nanny!

        • Raider Duck says:

          It’s no different than putting a reduced speed limit sign with a speed trap next to a blind curve, or handing out parking tickets when the “No Parking” sign has been removed by vandals, or any one of a million other “gotcha” games the government likes to play.

  5. Hi_Hello says:

    i just realized… dang it, I want a mega size can!

  6. Citizen says:

    They need to replace the principal if he is that unobservant that they were selling carbonated beverages. Looks like he has no idea what is going on in his school.

    • MattO says:

      really? you expect a principal of a school to know every product that is being sold in the school? I am sure the bookstore doesnt have the same number of products as a grocery store, but you cant really expect the principal to know every single thing sold there.

      Not a parent here, and think kids should be able to eat/drink whatever they want – but it is amazing how many people sit there on the internet and blame others, as if an oversight as small as this would be room for dismissal.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Fiance is a teacher, and I have to say the principals seem to be pretty clueless in general as to what is going on.

        Of course, this has been schools in the inner-city district, so likely they can’t get good principals to run them. But I gotta say, they stories she’s told me makes me think I would be a vast improvement as principal.

        • MattO says:

          I’m not disagreeing that principals can be clueless – but I dont think failure to know every product sold in a bookstore is a good example of that.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            One of their principle responsibilities (pardon the pun) is to ensure the school follows all legal requirements. This includes even mundane things like the bookstore.

            As I noted above, principals make bank salaries, and deserved because of the massive responsibility. You pass off their responsibility because you think its unfair. Well, then don’t be principal. It IS their responsibility.

            • Citizen says:

              I watched the video in the article, it is a Pepsi vending machine. How can anyone compentent not know that a Pepsi machine is selling Pepsi.

      • Jawaka says:

        When they agreed to receive federal funding in exchange for not selling soda or junk food during lunch hours yeah, I’d fully expect that he remember that they sell soda in the book store. And if he wasn’t sure then how difficult would it have been for him to good to the book store to check?

      • longfeltwant says:

        Do you think kids in schools should be “able to eat and drink what they want” including marijuana brownies and vodka mixed with roofies?

        Some people would (be forced by ideology to) say yes to that, but most people (all reasonable and moderate people, as well as most unreasonable and immoderate people) people would say no. If you say no to that, then you agree that what “kids are able to eat and drink” is a sliding scale. We draw a line somewhere along that scale, and say that consumption on one side of the line is okay, and on the other side not okay. In a world where kinds made responsible choices, we wouldn’t need a rule like that, but here in the United States of Reality, we do.

        Where do we draw the line? I’m not going to posit a line here, I’m just going to challenge the absolutist-sounding declaration that we should allow kids to do whatever they want. Life is complicated and subtle. There are appropriate times for absolutist declarations, and those times come up once every few centuries. This is not one of those times.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Yeah because all the problem in our school systems can totally be laid at the feet of priciples not micromanaging the school store.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        The principal very likely makes 6 figures, but definitely a lot of money. It’s their job to ensure the school remains in compliance.

        This is akin to releasing a CEO of blame. They make the big bucks because they are ultimately responsible for their company/school’s mistakes.

        • StarKillerX says:

          Ultimately the principle is, but I think firing him because of this screw up with the school store is a bit crazy.

          Most school stores have a staff advisor, just like the newspaper and all the clubs, and they are all answerable to the principle for the actions of their area, but I don’t even think they should be fired for this.

          I think it’s sort of stupid that the Fed is concerned with a schooll store selling soda during a lunch period, but not with the cafeteria itself selling ice-cream, chocolate milk and other treats.

          Now if someone wants to argue that soda shouldn’t be sold in school at all I could possibly get on board with that, but to say it can be sold but just not during lunch is simply stupid.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            I’m not advocating termination, but a good dock to their pay might be in order. Or not raising her wage at review time. Something other than….nothing?

            • wrjohnston91283 says:

              I’m not advocating termination, but a good dock to their pay might be in order. Or not raising her wage at review time. Something other than….nothing?

              I would be very surprised if the teacher’s contract includes anything that would allow this. My wife works in a school, and their teacher’s contracts have you get paid based on a schedule – # of years you’ve been working, level of education, etc. There’s no wiggle room for performance. If the schedule says you get $45,000 a year, that’s what you get.

      • Talmonis says:

        Hmm this defense sounds familiar…

        “I didn’t know, how could I be expected to know everything that happens under my watch?”

        And the lovely followup:

        CEO Defenders:
        “CEO’s deserve to make so much money because of all the responsibility they have.”

  7. j2.718ff says:

    What kind of nuts do milkway bars have?

  8. baltimoron says:

    Why do the arts programs need to suffer for this? It should be sports programs.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Yeah punish the healthiest kids, not the pasty ones.

      • VintageLydia says:

        Most sports programs generate their own funds through ticket and concession sales and are STILL given massive amounts of extra funding in the budget. Even my school, which had the shittiest football team in the district and one of the worst in the state got so much money, but arts are always cut when there are budget shortfalls. Always. Sports have other means to make money and fundraise. Arts don’t. Sports can afford it. Arts can’t. It’s that simple.

        • TheMansfieldMauler says:

          Sports have other means to make money and fundraise. Arts don’t.

          Annnnd…that is why. Sports makes money because it’s popular and people want to see it. Arts takes the cuts because no one cares except the parents/relatives of the students in arts. The money goes where people want it to go.

          Did your high school have a Homecoming Play or did it have a Homecoming Football Game?

          • Kuri says:

            All for some temporary bragging rights.

            • TheMansfieldMauler says:

              I don’t disagree, but as opposed to what? No one puts on their resume that they were “Man With Hat/Mustache in the One Act Play That Came In First in the State UIL Contest”.

              • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

                And everyone knows that if something doesn’t generate revenue it is completely worthless to humanity. Fuck art.

                • TheMansfieldMauler says:

                  I wouldn’t say it’s worthless to humanity. What I am saying is that its value to people (the people in the community who consume the art and/or sports) is evident by whether it makes money or not.

                  It isn’t a judgement, just an observation of the facts.

              • Kuri says:

                Fair enough, though I fail to see how being the linebacker on a school football team is any more relevant.

              • chargernj says:

                Actually, once you’re out of high school people have more respect for artistic achievement. Awards won and art exibitions carries a lot more weight on a person’s resume than having been a defensive tackle.

      • SilverBlade2k says:

        I agree/disagree with this statement.

        You shouldn’t punish the healthy students, but the sports programs should be solely funded by those *in* the sports programs.

        • Jawaka says:

          Why should athletics be any different than other courses?

          To use your example why not fund the art classes solely through the people who sign up for them?

      • crispyduck13 says:

        So all students who take advantage of the art programs are “pasty” now? Whew, good thing I clicked on this post and read your comment, else I would have been ignorant of this obviously established fact.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      sport programs generate more money.

      • VintageLydia says:

        Which means they can afford the temporary cut.

        • Hi_Hello says:

          that temp cut could probably mean a lot more revenue lost by the school.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            Not likely. If the private industry has shown me nothing, it’s that sports fan will do anything, pay anything, to have their sports. Nothing so far has seemed to deter them.

    • George4478 says:

      At my son’s high school the sports programs did not receive school funding. The school maintained the physical plant — lights, buildings — but maintaining the fields, providing uniforms, paying for umpires, etc was all a function of fundraising and parents.

      The school funding for sports was eliminated over 10 years ago. Maybe this school district is similar?

  9. VintageLydia says:

    I love how the arts program gets a hit when the school fucks up…

    • dush says:

      I love it too, it helps them get ready for life after school.

    • Jawaka says:

      Well you know that they’re not going to cut any of the essentials (reading, writing, arithmetic, history, sciences). That leaves the electives and since most schools already charge people to play on sports teams its hard to cut something that they already aren’t paying for.

      • LanMan04 says:

        Well you know that they’re not going to cut any of the essentials (sports).

  10. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    To be clear… The Child Nutrition Act covers schools that receive federal funds for school lunch programs. The circumstances (who,what, when, how..) of the laying of charges is unclear from the article.

  11. Jules Noctambule says:

    And it’s the arts program that gets the budget cut, of course.

    • donjumpsuit says:

      You are so right.
      How’s about a 15k paycut for the principal? I am sure he would be willing to take one for the team!

      • Kuri says:

        If not their local booster club will make him take the cut.

      • stevenpdx says:

        If the funds/profits from the soda machine sales are earmarked for performing arts programs, the funds can’t be shifted to and from other accounts (sports, etc) at will. This is how fund budgeting and accounting works.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Yes they can. This isn’t a private entity that produces a product and sells it. Their accounting doesn’t work that way, and the principal and/or other school official have the authority to shift funds.

        • It's not my baby, baby! says:

          I don’t know where you got this information, (I’m guessing you don’t know what you are talking about…) but the only funds that are absolutely earmarked are those received in the form of bonds/grants. Any other revenue is “earmarked” by policy only. That means this soft earmark could be changed at any time.

          The principal can’t change this, but the school board can.

          And, btw, schools don’t operate on a true fund accounting system anyway since any general revenue can be changed by a vote of the board and not by the taxpayers.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      But we can’t defund the school golf club!!

      (Yes, my school had a golf club, but thank God not a golf course).

      • Kuri says:

        With how much my high school put into athletic facilities when they got a huge bond, I’m surprised schools don’t.

  12. hazycanon says:

    There are no nuts in Milky Ways!

    Junk food (or lack of) should be by a school’s PTA or community. I wonder how they even found out and how is actually getting paid to enforce ridiculous regulations.

  13. castlecraver says:

    Nanny state, herp derp…

    The real outrage here is that schools are underfunded to the point they have to put these machines in just to make ends meet, and that arts programs are seen as expendable when things are in the red.

    • Raider Duck says:

      Yes, and this one school is now underfunded even more because…somebody bought a soda.

      The moral of the story: If you need a soda during lunchtime, don’t buy it from the school where the money might do some good. Instead, walk down to the 7-11 on the corner where the money all goes to corporate HQ.

    • Talmonis says:

      Who needs art and culture? They don’t make any money! As a matter of fact, they need to cut out literature, history, health and any other class that doesn’t lead to making money for the financial sector. /sarc

    • Kuri says:

      Or having to use history texts books that are a few decades out of date.

  14. j2.718ff says:

    “Nobody realized our bookstore also sold carbonated beverages,” the school’s principal tells KUTV in Salt Lake City.

    …. so gremlins were refilling the soda machines at night? Surely *somebody* knew what the bookstore sold. (Perhaps they didn’t realize it was illegal to make such a sale.)

  15. Kuri says:

    Cutting the arts? Are you sure the sports teams can’t just use their equipment for another year?

    • MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

      Don’t be silly; you can’t cut the sports budget. This late in the year, their balls are all worn out.

    • dush says:

      Families pay hundreds of dollars a year to play sports.
      They pay nothing extra to join choir or the drama club.

  16. Lyn Torden says:

    So of course they pick on the arts programs rather than deduct the salaries of the administrators who decided to do these sales.

  17. Gman says:

    The ridiculous nature of the fine has been taken care of by other commentators – i’m going to focus on what stood out to me –

    A school is so budget deprived it cant even find $15,000 to pay the fine. It must dip into funds devoted to elective programs.

    But I truly wonder how many times have the politicians in that county, let alone the state have spend $15,000 on frivolous items like postcards sent to constituents talking about how awesome a job they are doing to save money.

    • kella says:

      I *hate* those postcards. When I was in NY I got full color, heavy paper pamphlets during election season. Each of them had a little stamp indicating they were prepared and mailed at taxpayer expense. Disgusting waste of money, and not particularly “green” either.

  18. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Don’t take federal money if you can’t follow the rules
    Subtitle A—National School Lunch Program
    ‘‘(i) IN GENERAL.—In calculating the fine for a
    school food authority or school, the Secretary shall
    base the amount of the fine on the reimbursement
    earned by school food authority or school for the program in which the violation occurred.
    ‘‘(ii) AMOUNT.—The amount under clause (i) shall
    not exceed—
    ‘‘(I) 1 percent of the amount of meal reimbursements earned for the fiscal year for the first finding
    of 1 or more program violations under subparagraph (A);
    ‘‘(II) 5 percent of the amount of meal
    reimbursements earned for the fiscal year for the
    second finding of 1 or more program violations
    under subparagraph (A); and
    ‘‘(III) 10 percent of the amount of meal
    reimbursements earned for the fiscal year for the
    third or subsequent finding of 1 or more program
    violations under subparagraph (A).

  19. Tim says:

    The KUTV story is extremely poorly-written and vague.

    It’s only got one source: the school’s principal. What about someone from the federal agency responsible for enforcing the law? What about something as simple as quoting that law? What about an attorney who knows about this law?

    And this: “They get their candy fix cheaper at the gas station on the corner or the nearby grocery store, which brings up new problems with student safety.”

    Wow, just wow. You’d think broadcast journalists held themselves to standards of … you know, journalism.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      Journalist standards? Limbaugh will love this story.

    • Kuri says:

      Yellow journalism used to be looked down upon, now it’s expected.

      • Tim says:

        Seriously. I’m a print journalist myself, so I’m not completely blameless. But the broadcast folks seem to eschew everything we hold dear, including objectivity and attribution.

        • Something2Say says:

          I used to be in print journalism, and I was about to point out that the KUTV story is par for the course for TV news as far as being poorly written and one-sourced.

          Oh, wait, looks like I just pointed that out. Silly me!

  20. BigHeadEd says:

    So a public school, funded by federal, state and local taxes, is fined by the federal government that will use that fine to fund government programs. Got it.

    • longfeltwant says:

      No. You don’t got it. You totally missed it, actually. It is precisely the school’s acceptance of federal money which bound it to these rules, and opened it to this fine. A large number of federal rules are premised on the acceptance of federal money.

      Not that I expect reality to change your mind, but I want to make sure the record shows that you don’t base your beliefs on an understanding of the facts. (Which is fine, I suppose; most people don’t.)

      • Rashomon says:

        Actually, you don’t get it. Ask yourself where does this Federal fine go? It goes back into the goverment, which in turn gives money back to school programs. So BigHeadEd is basically correct even though the actual dollars cannot be accounted for – in the long run some of it goes into school programs.

      • BigHeadEd says:

        Yes, I get that. How could I not since you have posted the same reply throughout this thread. You seem stuck on the legality of this situation which I don’t think I was questioning, only the comedy of the cash flow from one hand right back to the same hand, regardless of the circumstances. Thank god we have bright individuals like yourself on the Consumerist to bring the discussion back to the facts. Unending repetition of one idea is certainly an excellent method for making a convincing argument. I for one am eternally grateful for your civics lesson.

  21. Jawaka says:

    “He is also concerned that these rules will have students simply bringing in more outside food”

    Why would this be a problem?

    • Crazydog says:

      Less income for the school, which it seems is already a problem.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        And less money for whatever company has the contract to store and supply the school lunches.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Then they just end up having to take their unhealthy lunches away.

    • exconsumer says:

      Because serving unhealthy food, and then asking the families that would like to eat better to get their food elsewhere is just fine and not any infringement on anyone’s rights or freedom of choice.

      But if you serve healthy food, and ask the families who’d like to eat relatively unhealthy things to obtain their food elsewhere, it is a severe violation of people’s rights and freedom of choice.

      Because magic.

  22. Blueskylaw says:

    I used to sell candy when I was in grade school because they didn’t sell them back in the good ol’ days. It was fun going to the store, buying something for 30 cents and then selling it for a dollar later on the same day.

    Ahhh, the days of easy money.

  23. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Looky here: The bookstore has a serving window that opens onto the cafeteria! School administrators must have thought they’d found a technicality to get around the law.

    “Utah’s nutrition cop at schools, however, told The Associated Press the penalties are for selling soda from a bookstore with a serving window that opens onto the school cafeteria.”

  24. Mah Freedoms says:

    I thought everyone knew that schools couldn’t sell soda during the school day.

  25. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    “Davis High School was denied federal school lunch program funds on days it was found to have violated the lunch-hour ban on junk food, she said. The most recent violation was May 9, but the school was previously cited for violations throughout December and January.”

    ” the penalties are for selling soda from a bookstore with a serving window that opens onto the school cafeteria.”

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      “These vending machines were not in the cafeteria — that (would) violate the standards,” he said. “They were down in a different part of the school, but since these kids walked down to the cafeteria for their lunches and then walked down the hallway toward the gym where the vending machines were, and there’s not a wall to stop them from doing that, the entire school was designated as a cafeteria and the school was penalized.”

  26. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    It’s Utah, he should cut English courses and leave art classes alone. It’s not like it would make any difference. When I attended school there, Utah was on the 19th percentile for English. Utah is always at or near the bottom of state rankings for education.

  27. Kuri says:

    Suppose the history department can use those 1970s textbooks for another decade.

  28. GrammatonCleric says:

    Hmm, lately in Chicago there were lunch inspectors going around classrooms making kids throw out healthy meals consisting of fruit and a sandwhich on wheat bread and some juice in favor of what the inspectors deemed to be a more nutritious lunch of chicken nuggets and chocolate milk. Also, there was the teacher in North Carolina just the other day who berated a student for daring to point out that Obama is a man and just as fallible as Romney or anyone else. And closer to home for me, the high school closest to my house in my town recently came under heavy scrutiny after begging for more money, then turning around and giving it all to a contractor that the adminstration had ties with to build a new football field even though the student body voted it was absolutely not needed. And then threatened to cancel some sports programs if they weren’t given more money, sending out emails to the parents urging them to support their budget(which was against school policy and brought more questions).

    These schools get loads of money and barely stay afloat, acting more like prisons or indoctrination camps recently, if not then black hole-like money pits. The community college in my county actually just recently quietly passed approval to construct holding cells on campus for the students, even with a jail already literally next door. Thankfully the local media did a great job of bringing this information to light, and now the administration is having a hell of a time dealing with a whole lot of students who think the holding cells aren’t going to be used for the right things.

    I think it is totally a personal choice made by the parents and the kid as to whether or not they go to these kinds of schools, but I am grateful that I am able to give my kid an education on how to make his way outside of the boundaries society puts around us. I don’t think someone should be looked down on simply because instead of going to college and getting a degree they decided to learn how to farm and survive with out needing someone else to produce everything around them.

    Excuse my probably off-topic and almost nonsensical rant, I just can’t stand the way schools are run these days. Institutions of learning seem, to me at least, that they should be places where people who are motivated to learn about a subject gather to debate and share their ideas and findings on a subject. Not to have some group of people who we have proclaimed to have great knowledge spew things at them and then grade the students on how well they repeat back their version of the truth.

    All I can say is, i’m glad my childs art program won’t suffer because somebody didn’t know we weren’t supposed to sell soda at a certain time(though there isn’t soda here anyway). Then again, it may suffer because I am terrible at art, thats the moms job I guess.

    • Kuri says:

      My high school spent 800 grand of a bond measure on the football field alone, and some more on a field house that is mostly an athletic facility while the air conditioning in most of the school still doesn’t work right. I always fell asleep in biology class because the room was too warm. In other rooms I was freezing.

      Not to mention one year a student played a prank by playing a porno tape on the announcement projector. No one was hurt and people laughed. The school began penning us all inside the cafeteria until they were ready to let us out (that made me lat to class a few times)

  29. FearTheCowboy says:

    Take the $15K out of the athletics budget.

    Boom Problem solved.

    • dush says:

      There is no athletics budget. Families kick in hundreds of dollars in fees a year above and beyond their property taxes to pay for their kids to have athletics.

  30. ferozadh says:

    This reminds me of every episode of The Simpsons that involved Springfield Elementary…

  31. brinks says:

    Nobody knew the bookstore was selling soda? Really? Perhaps the principal should venture out of the office once in a while and get a clue about what’s happening in his own school.

    What a dumbass.

  32. zandar says:

    of course. Arts are the always the first on the chopping block when schools feel the pinch. they are obviously the least important of the academic disciplines.

    You should read the above with a voice dripping in sarcasm, by the way.

    they ought to offer up the football program for sacrifice instead- that would get it all solved rather quickly.

  33. StevePierce says:

    Maybe the principal will be more understanding when a student claims their homework got eaten by a dog.

    If not the ruels are the rules, I am sure he understands, right?

  34. Abradax says:

    Argue that the pop is made from corn, so its healthy.

  35. Unicorn-Chaser says:

    There is an actual Federal law that bans selling soda in schools during certain times? WTF seriously??

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      The school receives federal funds for school lunches if they follow certain nutritional guidelines – otherwise the feds take back the funding for the days in violation.

  36. dru_zod says:

    Not necessarily true. My high school always had additional fees for some of the art classes offered, and I believe there was a per-semester fee to take drama. Then there’s band class, where there was not only a per-semester band fee, but you had to pay uniform rental fees, and of course you had to have an instrument to play. The school had a few instruments (maybe 5 or 6) that students could use if they could not afford their own. Then you also had to pay to go on some of the field trips to competitions. I’d say some of the marching band members probably shelled out a pretty penny over 4 years.

    • dru_zod says:

      This was supposed to be a reply to this comment from dush above:

      “Families pay hundreds of dollars a year to play sports.
      They pay nothing extra to join choir or the drama club.”

      And it was…until the commenting system had a hiccup and plopped it down here instead.

  37. maxamus2 says:

    Why is it I was able to go through 12 years of school without having any soda machines anywhere? And selling candy bars in school, huh?

  38. Robert Nagel says:

    Welcome to Obamaland.

  39. Peter V says:

    Seriously!? Fine one of the best Public Schools (98.6% graduation rate) in Utah $15,000 FOR SODA (Nutritional guideline violations). /end rant

  40. human_shield says:

    Stupid. So the state, which funds the school, then fined the school.

    Look, I’m glad you want to stop kids from being fat slobs, but restricting sodas at school isn’t going to do jack, and fining them absurd amounts of money for piddly violations only takes money away from our children’s education.

    In other words, FU, Utah.

  41. Kisses4Katie says:

    Um…. no nuts in Milky Way bars.

  42. Levk says:

    This is the dumbest thing I ever read… Kids are still going to have soda and candy if they want it not selling it at school will not help… that always and still is the dumbest thing i ever heard

  43. u1itn0w2day says:

    Of all the things that need monitoring or inspection. I wonder how many kids went home with the runs or a cold because the cafeteria or common areas in the school were not ‘inspected’. Misplaced priorities at their finest

  44. LabanDenter says:

    I love all the rules are rules people. You’d follow them off a cliff if thats what they told you to do.

  45. Harry Greek says:

    What’s next, taking away cigarette vending machines?!?!

    Why won’t the horrible government allow me to abuse my body?! Why won’t our oppressive government allow me to sell harmful products to unknowing people?! If these idiots (children) don’t know that sugary drinks are bad for you, they deserve to suffer!!!!

    What happened to this great country!?!?

  46. exconsumer says:

    I wonder if, one day, someone will come up with a coherent argument against the removal of relatively unhealthy foods from schools.

    A school that provides unhealthy foods is just fine, because the students are free to go out and purchase something healthy on their own. . . but a school that provides healthy food is somehow restricting freedom of choice because . . . unhealthy things aren’t available everywhere you turn? The school is under some kind of moral imperative to provide unhealthy food paid for by the taxpayer?

    This wasn’t even that hard of a rule to follow. No junk food during the lunch hour. Just that time period.

  47. Outrun1986 says:

    So diet soda which has no calories is apparently not ok, yet a can of sugary juice that contains more sugar than regular soda and lots of HFCS is ok?

    If a kid drank a can of juice every day which had 180 calories and 30+ grams of sugar and contains HFCS instead of a diet soda that has no calories and no sugar and no HFCS they would definitely start putting on weight. I don’t see how that is helpful. Both drinks are not idea, but in the end it comes to calories in, calories out, you are saving 180 calories and a ton of sugar by drinking the diet soda, provided that you only have 2 choices.

    We were forced to drink milk in high school, that is right FORCED. Well not literately, if we bought school lunch, we had to take a milk, there was no other option offered, not even bottled water and we weren’t allowed to decline the milk in favor of nothing. They did have all varieties of milk, but 95% of the students were drinking sugary chocolate milk. We did not have to drink the milk, but it had to be on our tray when paying for the lunch.

  48. VHSer says:

    Banning soda is a hugely bad idea. It’s not real, but it could happen in real life…no doubt. There was a tv show (forget the name) where they banned soda and junk food in a school. A kid died because he was eating way more candy and drinking far more soda than he had normally. He was eating/drinking more to sort of shove it in the face of the school that they couldn’t tell him what to do. The more you ban something people are going to do it way more than if you had just left it alone. It’s like when there’s a scandal about something that people think is bad for kids and try to get it banned. People talk about whatever it is a lot more when you say it’s bad.

  49. edrebber says:

    The money should come out of the teacher’s salaries, not the educational programs.