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School District Ban: Do Sodas and Education Mix?

September 01, 2002

Re "Schools to End Soda Sales," Aug. 28: The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education has again demonstrated its arrogance toward the students and parents of Los Angeles. By banning soda, the board has deemed itself wiser and more caring than the poor, uneducated, unwashed slobs who deposit their children in their care.

The board's hypocrisy is astounding. Are there not soda machines at the Board of Education? Do these "educators" not swing through Jack in the Box on their way to work?

The parents of L.A. Unified have voted consistently with their money for soda machines on campus year after year. After all, the last time I checked, most middle-schoolers don't have jobs.

Donald Lais

Torrance

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As a classroom teacher, I witness daily the negative effects that drinking Coca-Cola and the like have on student efforts. First, they fly so high they can't concentrate on their work, and then they crash so low they can't muster the energy to study.

True, most students get their sugar/caffeine supply off campus, but then students who smoke cigarettes certainly get their nicotine off campus as well; it would be unthinkable that there be a cigarette vending machine alongside the ones dispensing candy and soda. It's absurd for schools to condone and even encourage the consumption of these beverages in the face of rising obesity and falling test scores.

Pavlin Lange

Los Angeles

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The board decision to ban soda sales is an irresponsible move because it is not based on analysis of student eating behavior or on the financial impact on schools of the ban. Let's face it: Banning soda from school is unlikely to change what kids eat and drink. It will, however, be a boon for the convenience stores located near most campuses. More important, the ban will deprive our schools of funds on which they depend for vital activities such as field trips and athletics. How arrogant of the board to deprive kids of these activities without a plan to replace the funds.

Sanford M. Jacoby

Los Angeles

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As a concerned parent, I applaud the decision to ban soda sales by the LAUSD. School is supposed to be a place of education. Besides academics, students learn eating habits, and drinking soda is not a healthy lifestyle. If soda is available on campus, it is the same thing as adults telling them that drinking soda is fine. If students get out of the habit of drinking soda, they will have a chance to learn about healthful alternatives.

Everyone is very concerned about the possible loss of income from soda sales, but alternatives are available. Coca-Cola does not "give" anything to the schools; it instead gives itself another generation of consumers for its products by hooking them on sodas at school.

Rebecca Carroll

Glendale

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I taught in an inner-city high school for 25 years--and I was tired of pop cans and bottles littering my classroom, the halls and the campus. Besides that, some of the drinks contain 10 teaspoons of sugar. What student needs that? On with fewer cavities and a clean school!

Eleanor Hovik

Lomita

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