Editorial: Caffeine or Quarantine

The proposed West High coffee shop could benefit students and teachers alike, but goes against the principles of district wide food policy. Does the ‘business’ opportunity create a double standard between district and building?


Dani Fischer

A student drinks coffee during school. Students currently bring coffee to school from places like Starbucks, Panera, and 6 North. “I really hope that there’s good coffee. I’m not a Kaldi’s fan, so I think they should get good tasting coffee. We need people to know how to adequately operate the latte machines,” junior Natalie Butler said.

Encouraging individual and healthy snacks, the Parkway food policy frowns upon the sharing of food with other students and tries to steer students towards healthy, contamination-free food options in order to avoid possibly life threatening allergic reactions. Despite this stance, West High has opened the door to a prospective student-run coffee shop, in a survey complete with a smiley face.

A coffee shop in of itself isn’t a bad idea; many students would welcome the option of getting their coffee fix right here in school, in addition to the valuable business experience it would give to students who want to work at it. We’re in high school—we are cognizant enough to decide what we want to put in our bodies, and we can be in charge of our own nutrition.

However, the impression that Parkway has given students is that they want to watch over us and keep us away from potential health hazards. So the question must be asked, how much of a role do district and building administrators truly want to play in our lifestyle habits? Do they want to give us the freedom to consume copious amounts of sugar and caffeine of our own free will, or do they want to protect us in a bubble of disinfectant wipes and foodless parties?

It seems that the policy, with its ambiguous wording and general denunciations of food in the school setting, totally goes against the freedom that West High is considering giving us, going so far to ask if we would like our coffee delivered to us and if the shop should be open for business at all hours of the school day. The district and the building are sending two different messages to their students and whether we get a coffee shop or not, the double standard must be eliminated.

We would happily take a coffee shop in West High for many reasons, however we cannot help but question the overarching goals of Parkway and this building. For Folger’s or for Lysol, administrators must decide which they want to promote and let us have it.