This rebuttal ran in my local paper, The Valley News:
To the editor,
It’s unclear if Mr. Gersen (“mission creep in public schools”, January 14) is finding it hard to face up to his responsibility or is trying to convince himself that he has none. The school district already has an implied nutritional policy that promotes the sale of caffeinated sugar water and other junk food on school property. A group of parents recently proposed to the school board that Dresden School District follows the example set by districts across the country and implements nutritional guidelines that would replace the junk food in the vending machines with healthier alternatives. That would build on the progress already made by the school towards improving the quality of the cafeteria food.
Revising an outdated and inadequate school policy that does a disservice to our kids is not “mission creep” but surely falls squarely within the scope of work and responsibility for the school administration. While the school cannot be held responsible for each student’s diet, it is responsible for the nutritional environment in which our kids spend their time learning. Junk food has no place in that environment, and the school has no business providing it to the students.
Update: later, they got this, too.