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The Vending Machine

Thursday, August 24, 2006 | Read Comments

The Vending Machine

Across the United States and around the world, public schools use vending machines to shake down children for their pocket change in order to raise desperately-needed funds for textbooks and basic educational equipment.

The practice is, of course, strongly encouraged by soda companies who take the lion's share of the profits from such dubious transactions. And as a bonus, the schoolteachers and administrative staff get to deal with the behavioral disorders, obesity and juvenile diabetes that goes along with drinking these highly acidic, sugar-laden beverages loaded with high-fructose corn syrup.

In other words, the schools are selling out the health of their own students in exchange for a little operating cash. Is there no shame in public education?

Some people mistakenly believe this problem has been solved by a voluntary agreement by soda companies -- negotiated in part by the William J. Clinton Foundation -- to remove such vending machines from public schools by some future deadline that's still many years away. But that "agreement" was just a clever, non-binding announcement by the soda industry to preempt real legislation that would have banned them from schools.

So today, they've disarmed opponents with a clever ploy and are right now selling sugar water to students in our public schools. In other words, nothing has changed, and the vending machines continue to shake down our nation's children for their pocket change.

How does this make you feel? You may post your comments below.

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