You punish the students for faculty error? It just seems like a funny way to go about it. —Nick Meiner, Davis High School Student
KAYSVILLE — Davis High School has shut down its soda vending machines for the rest of the school year after being fined $15,000 for selling carbonated drinks in the school bookstore.
Students said the loss will have little impact on their consumption because nearby convenience stores provide a ready alternative. But the financial loss to the school could inpact the theater, music and debate programs.
"Without carbonated beverages sold on campus, the money we make from vending and candy will drop appreciatively," Davis High School principal Dee Burton said. "When you cut the budget, things have to be cut. Things that you are cutting are programs you've been able to support with the discretionary funds."
The fine, which Burton said the school paid for with excess department funds, resulted from a violation in the school bookstore selling candy and carbonated drinks during the lunch hour. That's a violation of federal rules for schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program, which specifies when and where sugary drinks can be sold.
The school plans to relocate vending machines selling candy and carbonated drinks to a renovated custodial closet during the summer and resume selling in the fall. But the change in access will mean fewer sales and fewer dollars for the school.
"The room is a lot less convenient than stopping in the hallway putting your money in, getting your drink and going on your way," Burton said. "If the kids can't buy carbonated beverages on campus or candies they want, there's a (convenience) store down the road a block, and they'll go down there and get it."
Katrell Cooper, a student at the school, said she understands the health-first intentions of the law but doesn't think it solves the problem.
"I understand that they're trying to do something good for us, they're trying to help us, but honestly, it's kind of useless because a lot of money goes into those (machines) that help with our funding," Cooper said.
Nick Meiner, also a student at the school, said he doesn't understand the motivation behind the fine.
"The fine is a funny way to punish," Meiner said. "You punish the students for faculty error? It just seems like a funny way to go about it."