By Ben Velderman
SALT LAKE CITY – Follow the logic of this one.
The teacher unions and their pet lawmakers say the nation’s public schools are so strapped for cash that the government needs to pass a new $60 billion “edujobs” bailout – supposedly to save hundreds of thousands of teacher jobs and student academic programs. This proposal comes two years after taxpayers shoveled $10 billion into school coffers for the very same reasons.
Now comes word that the federal government in fining a high school in Salt Lake City, Utah $15,000 for selling soda during lunch. That’s a hefty penalty – almost half of a beginning teacher’s salary.
Davis High School ran afoul of federal law that demands schools only sell nutritious food during the students’ lunch period. By law, school officials are required to turn off soda vending machines during the 47-minute lunch hour, FoxNewsInsider.com reports. The soda machines in the cafeteria were unplugged, but the vending machine in the bookstore was not.
The school was fined “75 cents per student times the number of days the soda machine was left on,” the news site reports.
The busybody law is meant to encourage healthy eating choices which prevent obesity.
But as Davis High Principal Dee Burton told a local TV news reporter, the laws are contradictory and nonsensical.
“Before lunch you can come and buy a carbonated beverage. You can take it into the cafeteria and eat your lunch, but you can’t first go buy school lunch then come out in the hallway and buy a drink,” Burton told Fox13Now.com.
“We can sell a Snickers bar, but can’t sell licorice. We can’t sell Swedish Fish, we can’t sell Starburst, we can’t sell Skittles, but we can sell ice cream, we can sell the Snickers bar, Milky Ways, all that stuff,” Burton said.
Davis High isn’t the only school that’s been fined by the government for its naughty nutritional practices. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that another Utah school “was fined $20,167 for selling diet carbonated drinks, lifesavers and cough drops during lunch in a hallway vending machine near where kids eat ….”
Davis High School officials have decided to leave the soda machines unplugged until they can find a better way of controlling access to them. They say the fine will be paid with funds from the school’s art and music programs.
With one hand, the federal government is handing out cash to keep (union-controlled) schools afloat, while the other hand is grabbing money from schools that forget to unplug soda machines during lunch time.
The only thing that could make the government’s policy even more ridiculous would be if a school used its share of “edujobs” money to pay a food fine.
We expect that story to appear at any time.