In 2007, an Oregon law was enacted preventing the sale of high-calorie snacks on school campuses, according to The Oregonian. Intending to curb the growing problem of child obesity, schools did away with vending machines that sold Cokes and candy. However, as an additional consequence of the law, teachers have also lost access to junk-food vending machines. And they’re not happy about it.
On Friday, a group of teachers appealed to the House Education Committee to ask that the vending machines be returned to employee-only areas. “We are adults,” said 4th grade teacher Dorothy Powers from Hillsboro. “We have rights.” Laurie Wimmer Whelan, a lobbyist for the Oregon Education Association, agreed that teachers should be able to satisfy their snack cravings. “Whether a teacher wants to buy a bag of peanuts or a cookie shouldn’t be a legislative issue,” she stated.
Those in favor of upholding the law say that teachers have an obligation to set a positive example for students. Nancy Becker, head of the Oregon Nutrition Policy Alliance, pleaded with legislators to uphold the pervasive food restrictions for other health-related reasons. “Sixty-six percent of Oregonian adults are overweight or obese,” she said. “Does this committee really want to pass a law that makes it easier for people to have access to junk?”
The committee voted 7-2 in favor of sending the measure on for a full House vote.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.