Nanny State: School Fined $15,000 For Selling Soda

Daniel Doherty

5/19/2012 11:30:00 AM - Daniel Doherty

Remember when a number of state and local governments fined children for operating lemonade stands without permits last summer? Well, now the federal government is trying to punish kids for drinking soda too. (Via Jazz Shaw):

Davis High School has been fined $15,000 after they were caught selling soda pop during lunch hour, which is a violation of federal law.

The federally mandated law prohibits the sale of carbonated beverages after lunch is served. The program is an effort to help fight childhood obesity and to have young students make better food choices.

The mandate allows for carbonated beverages to be sold before lunch, but restricts students from buying lunch, then purchasing carbonated drinks afterward.

“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,” said Davis High Principal Dee Burton.

Frankly, my initial reaction was how did the Davis High School students get caught? I mean, are government bureaucrats hiding in lockers or underneath trashcans making sure teenagers aren’t buying sodas – gasp – after lunch? I never would have suspected the federal government had the manpower – or resources – to enforce such inane and stupid regulations. I guess I was wrong.

But on a more serious note, if the principal doesn’t understand the complexities of the very law he’s required to enforce, it’s probably safe to assume his students don’t either.

Principal Burton said he does not understand the law with rules that seem to be contradictory.

“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,” said Burton.

This high school horror story is a perfect example of how government regulations are complicating our lives. While the obesity epidemic needs to be addressed, federal policies are robbing public schools of their vital resources. Sadly, as the author notes, the $15,000 check Davis High School must now write to Uncle Sam could have gone towards certain educational programs. At a time when public schools are consistently failing to prepare students for the rigors of college, it seems to me taxpayer dollars would be infinitely better spent at the local level – not in the hands of spendthrift Washington bureaucrats.