Wellesley High students are rising up this week against a proposed ban on bake sales at the school, a prohibition that would not only send Martha Stewart into a rage but that students say will hurt their club fundraising efforts. (UPDATE: The Townsman reports that the town “wants more info before making final vote on the bake sale issue.” )
While there still might be a chance for compromise — perhaps such as goods sold at bake sales must consist of at least 51% kale or avocado and include nutrition labels — the students’ initial move is to circulate a Change.org petition to Keep Bake Sales at Wellesley High.
The petition reads in part:
Bake sales provide critical funds to the high school’s student groups, which already receive little to no funding from the school. More than that, these bake sales provide delicious treats for school members that surely brighten up everyone’s day and make the school an overall more positive place.
The proposal to ban bake sales is being presented and discussed with little input from the students who will be directly affected by the proposal’s outcome. This is our opportunity to fight back for our bake sales and to refuse to remain silent while these changes occur around us.
Among the comments on the petition: “I’m signing because banning bake sales is hilariously stupid.”
Organizers had secured more than 250 signatures by Tuesday morning so were well on their way to hitting their goal of 500 by tonight’s School Committee meeting at 7pm at Town Hall, where if you’re thirsty, you can head to the bottom floor to get a delicious soda or other sugary beverage from the vending machine.
There’s a Citizens’ Speak at the start and near the end of the meeting, which will include an update from the School Wellness Advisory Committee (SWAC, which rhymes with SNACK).
A year ago during its annual report, SWAC said that one of its goals for the upcoming school year was “Updating school communities on Federal and State guidelines on Healthy Snacks and bake sales.” (Massachusetts rejected bake sale bans back in 2012, with then Governor Patrick saying “Nobody’s interested in banning bake sales.”) Here’s SWAC’s latest report.
The intentions behind cooking up such a ban are no doubt good — fight the good fight vs. childhood obesity (I seem to think bake sales were eradicated somewhat recently from Wellesley Middle School during at least school hours, but am double-checking that.). While obesity figures in communities including Wellesley that take part in the annual Metrowest Adolescent Health Survey are better than the state average, there’s still work to be done. And after all, Wellesley kids are notoriously under-scheduled by their parents and do spend most of their days lounging around munching on cupcakes and brownies.
But students and their supporters argue that high school students are of the age where they should start getting to make some health choices of their own. Check out tonight’s School Committee meeting, where the flour is sure to fly…