Bravo to the initiatives to rid schools of sugary snacks and beverages in vending machines. But kids these days are smart. Sort of. They may not have a clue how to pass their MCA's, but they've got this math problem down 110%.
Two 12-packs of Mountain Dew = $8.00
(max density supported by avg backpack)
Sell pop cans at $1.00 each = $24.00
(easier to deal in dollars, coins are too loud)
$24 sales - $8 goods = $16 profit each day!!!
I personally caught a student last year and busted him, not just once, but twice. First infraction, there was an overlarge paper bag being blatantly passed around to a group of boys, who were digging in their pockets for money RIGHT in front of me. Literally. All I said was, "Dude... really?" and they magically disappeared. Second infraction, the same student was selling the Mountain Dew out of his locker, with another crowd salivating around him, at least attempting to look sneaky this time. When said student was confronted by administration, he bragged that it was a highly lucrative enterprising opportunity, all the while admitting that he knew selling banned "substances" was probably against school policy.
I brought this up one night to a family friend in frustration. He laughed heartily, and then informed me that he'd caught one of his own son's friends buying soda to sell at schools, and had actually encouraged him! "Great idea son, way to smell a business opportunity and pounce on it." Sigh. What a good idea. Sell caffeinated, sugar-filled beverages to children who not only don't need the extra calories, but who can't concentrate in class as it is! Then chase it down with a hand-full of jalapeno Cheetos and a pixie stick.
Speaking of pixie sticks, want to know a new trend? This one made my jaw just about hit the floor. You can just hear the 13-yr old asking her mother, "Hey Mom, can I have a couple more of those Kool Aid singles for my sports water bottles?" Clueless mom says, "Of course honey, that's so responsible of you to remember to stay hydrated at soccer!" Little does she know, those pourable, portable sugar packs are being slurped down, sans water, before class, fun-dip lick'em-ade fashion. Let the sugar zombie fest begin.
So what can we do, you may ask? HYPER VIGILANCE! Do not become a zombie during hall duty. Get out and interact with kids. Watch the lockers like a hawk in the morning. Steal the pop and drink it yourself. Be a Big Brother Locker Attack Zombie! Attack the sugar! Allow only clear water bottles! Turn parents into backpack attack zombies before and after school to prevent the spread of the sugar pandemic! Show no mercy!!
Here's my biggest problem and easiest solution as a teacher/role model in their lives:
DON'T DRINK SODA IN FRONT OF THEM!
(or the even easier, but less honest one, pour it into your coffee mug :o)
Other good tips I have heard recently:
-Start a giant communal candy & gum jar for kids to spit it out when they arrive at class. Disgusting, probably not hygienic, sad, but really funny watching how fast it fills up in a rainbow of colors!
-Make the guilty student calculate the calories ingested from their treat of choice, and perform jumping jacks, sit-ups and push-ups in the back of the room until the amount is burned off
-Bring in enough for the whole class at their own expense
-From my high school physics teacher, bring in liquid nitrogen, and have students empty their lockers of all things sweet. Carefully place them in the liquid nitrogen with tongs for a few seconds; then remove, and attempt to ingest them. OUCH! FUNNY! Doesn't work very well!
And that's all I got. Send further suggestions. But only if they're ridiculous or funny enough to be zombie-approved.