Utah School Fined $15,862 for Accidentally Selling Soda at Lunch

In order to remain eligible for federal subsidies for school lunches, officials at Davis High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, knew they weren't allowed to have active vending machines selling soda and candy in the school lunchroom during the 47-minute lunch period.

But rules designed to keep kids from washing down their lunches with something fizzy can be tricky. That lesson was driven home when the state Office of Education's Child Nutrition Program hit the school with a $15,862 fine—75 cents per violation over the period of many months that it turns out students had been illicitly selling soda in the school store.

Fearing more fines, the school has pulled the plug on all of its vending until it can figure out what the rules require. Because students eat lunch in the hallways, vending may actually be banned throughout the school. 

A local ABC affiliate reports that the school is considering extreme measures:

There are also plans at Davis High to put soda and candy vending machines in a converted janitor’s closet, with a door, to comply with federal guidelines. 

Meanwhile, the kids lose twice because of the mistakes of their elders, says Davis High School Principal Dee Burton:

Compounding the situation in the long term, the school vending machines generate revenue to help fund nonrevenue-related school activities such as debate, new computers for the classroom, or royalties for the songs used in the school musical, Burton said.

"The money we'll lose by not being able to sell the items amounts to thousands and thousands of dollars," he said.

The school will also have to the cover the cost of the fine out of general funds. 

For lots more Reason on the subversive history of the vending machine, start here and click backward unto eternity.

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  • ||

    Pop. It's called pop.

  • A Serious Man||

    During high school I worked in a grocery store in Southern California, one day an elderly man with a Texas accent came up to me and asked me which aisle "pop" was on. I stared blankly for a few seconds before he reiterated that he was looking for soda pop and I understood what he was saying.

  • ||

    I hope you thanked that nice man for your English lesson, you mushmouthed prick.

  • ||

    People in Texas don't call it pop. It's all coke.

    http://strangemaps.files.wordp.....odamap.gif

  • Pip||

    A World Map of Heavy Metal Density

    http://bigthink.com/strange-ma.....al-density

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    According to the map, the elderly gentleman might have been an Okie from the east part of the state.

  • ||

    In all seriousness, I'm just as likely to say soda as coke and even more likely the exact thing I'm asking for but I've never heard a Texan say pop.

  • ||

    Also soft drinks, which should be universally understandable.

  • Virginian||

    One time was visiting some friends up north, and I asked for a drink. I was a kid so their mom says

    "You want water or what?"

    "I'll have a coke"

    "We don't have coke, we have ginger ale and orange"

    "Yeah cokes fine"

    "We don't have coke."

    "No I mean any kind of coke, I'm not picky"

    "We don't have any kind of coke, we just have ginger ale and orange"

    "Yeah that's fine."

    Later it dawned on me that not everyone used "coke" as a generic word.

  • Brandybuck||

    When I'm in a restaurant and ask for a Coke, I sure as hell don't want a Pepsi! I don't care if I'm in Bobby Lee's backyard or not.

  • R C Dean||

    I stared blankly for a few seconds

    That's some quality customer service, right there.

  • Rhywun||

    I don't like blank stares, so I use the term which prevails where I live, "soda", rather than my native "pop".

    Anyway, we sure as hell didn't have any pop or candy machines when I was in school. These kids are so spoiled. And not getting off my lawn either.

  • Pip||

    "Pop. It's called pop."

    No. No it isn't.

  • DoubleIPA||

    Carbonated Soft Drink I believe is the official term.

  • ||

    IT IS, THANK YOU. All these heathens calling it "soda"....it's POP.

  • Paul.||

    Pop. It's called pop.

    Soda. So-da

  • wareagle||

    southern upbringing..all soft drinks are cokes.. Go to a drive-thru, place your order with a coke.
    Employee: what kind?
    You: the type drink you want

  • Paul.||

    It was actually kind of that way when I was a kid. Coke was ubiquitous for Carbonated Beverage.

    However, only suspicious ferriners referred to it as Pop. We didn't need no TSA and Homeland Security back then. Someone referred to it as Pop, and you knew right away they were plain Unamurrican.

  • Brandybuck||

    Soda pop, soda pop, oh soda soda pop! Soda pop! [pop] Bah dum dum dum!

  • rts||

    75 cents per violation over the period of many months that it turns out students had been illicitly selling soda in the school store.

    I hope the students running the store learn a valuable lesson about government and regulations.

  • Paul.||

    I hope the students running the store learn a valuable lesson about government and regulations.

    Clearly they have. When something is outlawed, you create a black market for it.

    "There's nothing dishonest about getting goods to people that need 'em." -- Mal, Firefly.

  • ||

    If they live in Utah they probably call it soda or just the brand name like a civilized person. None of this "pop" gibberish.

  • ||

    I hope you die real soon.

  • Paul.||

    You're literally worse than Hitler.

  • creech||

    Good for the food police - every time this sort of shit happens,it makes a few more people think about becoming libertarian.

  • Paul.||

    Good for the food police - every time this sort of shit happens,it makes a few more people think about becoming libertarian. a criminal.

    Same thing these days.

  • 0x90||

    "Compounding the situation in the long term, the school vending machines generate revenue to help fund nonrevenue-related school activities such as debate, new computers for the classroom, or royalties for the songs used in the school musical, Burton said.

    "'The money we'll lose by not being able to sell the items amounts to thousands and thousands of dollars,' he said."

    So he stumbles into thousands and thousands of dollars of new tax potential, and it doesn't even occur to him what has happened. At least we know why he's a principal, and not a superintendent.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Obviously this regulation is stupid and statist.

    However... there's nothing in the source material to support the idea that the sales were "accidental". The principal claims he didn't realize the extent of the regulation, which is exactly what he should say after getting caught, but they knew they were selling soda.

  • Spartacus||

    Keep the vending machines. Raise prices by 75 cents to cover the fine. Problem solved.

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