Common Cents

Mitchell Potter, Staff Writer

It’s gone on too long. We’ve endured too much. The time has come for us to rise
up and take back what is rightfully ours. Freedom! Our founding fathers were angered
over tea, paper, and “taxation without representation.” Now we have another issue at
hand: vending machines!
Within recent years we’ve seen our freedom to make decisions get taken away.
No longer can we get two Pop-Tarts, instead we get one whole wheat Pop-Tart for the
same price. In fact, almost everything is whole wheat.  Last year we witnessed the
caffeine crisis with Mountain Dew. Those machines were turned off during school,
and now we do not even have them this year. Yes these things are unhealthy, but it is
our decision to choose what we want to eat and put in our bodies.

Our choices for food are clearly being revoked. The food isn’t the problem. It’s
the fact that we are no longer allowed the responsibility to make our own decisions on
what to put into our bodies. Everything is done for us as if we are incapable. This is
going to lead to total dependence on the government. When we depend on someone,
they have control. Our freedoms have been confiscated because we no longer know
how to be responsible for ourselves. Are we really going to stand for this?
The vending machines used to be a nice little treat for all of us. If our day was not
that great, we could head on down to the vending machines after school and get
ourselves a nice treat that would be just enough to make us better. Or if we forgot to
have breakfast in the morning we could gather up a few quarters and get ourselves a
Pop-Tart. Or even if we were getting pretty tired and needed a Mountain Dew to
wake us up to make it through our next class. These days are long gone though.
The United States Department of Agriculture is to blame for this switch in
schools. They issued an order that all schools must follow strict nutritional guidelines for
the food that students have access to during school hours. This was declared effective
July 1, 2014. This explains our problem with the Mountain Dew machines being turned
off during school hours last year. The law had gone into effect.
How can someone justify or allow for a law to be put on the foods we are allowed
to eat? That is one of our most basic rights. We have access to food and to choices, but
there is a law on that now. Something put into effect that if the schools violate the law,
there will be major trouble. The government will no longer provide funding of any sort to
the already underfunded public schools.
The Declaration of Independence says all humans have an unalienable right to
“life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” If your pursuit of happiness is to be eating
Pop-Tarts, then your unalienable rights have been taken away.