Ms. Boyes was made to be the scapegoat, circumventing protocol and
interfering with the sacred powers that invade public schools seeking
brand loyalty and windfall profits: health be damned. Instead of
scorn, Ms. Boyes should have been heaped with praise. Her courage
persuaded me to act like the public servant I am and not a bought
out corporate quisling.
has swung open: spewing the ugly and twisted alliance between schools
and a corporate seducer. Reading page 33 of the new West Salem High
Parent/Student handbook reveals a colossal blunder on part of the
school district. Under "Use of Tobacco Products, Alcohol and
Other Drugs, the policy clearly outlines rules against caffeine
products. "No Doze or caffeine tablets" are clearly grounds
for administrative action against students! With "No Doze"
specifically mentioned, the 100 mg of caffeine per tablet is considered
a health threat. With a 12- ounce pop containing 55.5 mg, students
need only drink two pops and they are in violation of the "no
tolerance policy." I routinely see students walking with open
2 liter bottles in my school, obviously they are using too much
caffeine as laid out by the districts' own policy.
claims that a 10 year, five million dollar contract is too good
to renege. What is not explained is that this dollar value is based
on increasing pop sales 5% each year, every year of the ten- year
contract! What parents don't know is that PepsiCo has all the focus
on cash, not children. They suggest the school investigate a "credit
card" type purchasing for students. I imagine the parents could
be billed later. The soda king suggests redoing the electrical capabilities
in grade schools, where antiquated buildings could handle the new
pop machines. "Pepsi would request the District name a funding
program, the Pepsi Scholarship". The only wrinkle you ask?
"This program is to act as a volume incentive for Students
in the District." The more they drink, the more scholarship
money is earned. How despicable can this multinational be? How low
will we grovel for needed money? Will we not employee the lessons
of civic responsibility we claim to teach to our young adults?
Having two daughters,
will I blindly accept that public schools are now actively encouraging
students to pursue a life of osteoporosis and diabetes? As a teacher
of over 24 years, will I not heed my own words of encouragement
to the thousands of students I have taught, "one person makes
a world of difference."
I know we live
in a time of incredible fear. Stay quiet, stay numb and be a hapless
consumer. Every thing apparently is up for sale, even the health
of children and the integrity of schools. The First Amendment challenges
us to be citizens who question the tyranny of silence. Parenthood
urges us to protect our youth no matter the might of those backed
by the sacred dollar. Teachers need to reconsider their role as
educators nowhere does their job description call for being obsequious
lapdogs to corporate carpetbaggers looking to make schools their
market for lifelong consumers.
refuse to sheepishly follow the new order of corporate domination.
Will others join together to get soda pop contracts and fast food
out of public schools? Will the adults of this nation step up as
elders to defend the health of children? PepsiCo is selling and
I am not buying. Nor are young Ms. Boyes and her family.
The children of
this nation are waiting to see what we do. Maybe "upsetting the
apple cart" will be viewed as a good thing.
John F. Borowski
has been teaching Marine Science, Environmental Biology and Earth
Science for 21 years at North Salem High in Salem, Oregon. John
F. Borowski 541-929-5224 email@example.com
and Tim Hermach of the Native Forest Council and their education
program: Children for an HONEST Education Campaign.
or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reach John F. Borowski. Call 541-688-2600
or www.forestcouncil.org to reach Tim Hermach. Tim Hermach has been
fighting to protect our nations public lands for over 20 years
and John Borowski has been teaching environmental education for
over 23 years. And their goals are one in the same: a livable planet
for our children, access to honest education materials and an ecologically
caring and knowledgeable citizenry.
Also by John