Soda Pop in Schools

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

A decision by the Los Angeles School Board to ban soda on all of its campuses is the source of great debate Wednesday.

While most schools allow soda machines, one area school district actually banned the machines even before trend-setting LA.

In the halls of Hononegah High School you'll only find water machines. Three years ago the Hononegah School District voted to ban soda machines.

"I think taking the sugar and caffeine and the candy away from the kids has had an effect on our kids being able to perform at a higher level,” says Hononegah Community Principal Richard Bech.

Principal Beck says he's seen positive results but students miss the machines.

"I think a lot of the students would like to have pop machines. Here. But I don't know if it makes that much difference because they can still bring pop to school,” says Sarah Zeller, a senior at Hononegah High School.

In Rockford, soda is sold at schools, but machines are turned off during school hours and healthier beverages like milk and water are pushed in the lunch line.

"The reason pop is not offered during the day is that students need nutrition providing beverages during the day and that's why we provide these other options,” says Chris Saletta, Director of Food Services for Rockford schools.

While Rockford school officials recognize the health concerns, taking soda out of schools takes the fizz out of school district budgets. Two years ago, Rockford schools signed a 10-year; nearly $4 million deal with Coca-Cola. Money many school districts say they can't do without.

Rockford school district officials were not available for detailed comment on the contract with Coke. But one school official said soda machines were in Rockford schools even before the agreement.


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