No sodas for teachers

San Francisco’s school board may take soda machines from teacher break rooms, to force teachers to set a good example for students. Students lost soda and candy machines in 2003.

“I know of one school, and I won’t name names, where there is a soda machine in the principal’s office,” (trustee Jill) Wynns said, adding that it sets a bad example if teachers are telling kids not to buy caffeine-laden drinks but sipping one themselves.

What’s next? Rip out the coffee machine?

EIA Online thinks teachers are making too much of this, but I think they should tell the board to buzz off.  Teachers are adults.  If they want to drink soda (possibly sugar-free and uncaffeinated) on their breaks — or lunch on coffee and chocolate-chip cookies — it’s their own damn business.

About Joanne


  1. speedwell says:

    Mm-hmm. If they want to drink anything they want, it’s precisely their own business, not the school’s business. If they want martinis for lunch, they don’t get to force the cafeteria to provide them. If they want coffee and soda, they can bring them from home like the rest of us working stiffs whose offices don’t have a service.

  2. To set a good example of what? How to bow to overwhelming pressure? You can’t force anyone to set a good example. Trying to make adults behave as you wish usually has terrible unintended consequences.

    Does that teacher really have a decaf soy latte in their carry cup? Maybe they are really ingesting THE DEMON CAFFEINE!!! Obviously, this calls for spot checks by assistant principals, who have nothing better to do than to test teachers’ beverage choices.

    Will teachers angry at the loss of adult privileges leap to enforce the policy on students? Or will they turn a blind eye to students’ misbehavior, maybe even allowing them to eat TWINKIES! Gasp! Which as everyone knows, leads to ruin!

    Makes me wish for the good old days of Carrie Nation.

  3. Teachers are adults, but a lot of times they are treated like the students. I never drink sodas in front of students, but sometimes that’s the only way I can get rid of a bad headache. Taking vending machines out of the teacher’s lounge is ridiculous. It shows a lack of respect and trust for the faculty. I also work in the business world, and we have vending machines and a nice refrigerator we can use. We even get free tea and coffee.

  4. Bring your own damn sodas. Most companies have refrigerators you can bring your own soda and drink it on your break like everyone else. When I was in high school, students were not allowed to anything in class other than water. At lunch we could have sodas, if we brought them. The same rules need to apply to teachers. If you are in class teaching, you should not be drinking any sodas, especially if no one else can bring ’em.

  5. It’s a slippery slope. When they came for the ashtrays…

  6. Lightly Seasoned says:

    We are certainly capable of bringing our own soda — most teachers in my building do (it’s a lot cheaper). The only one losing out here is the vending company.

    Personally, I drink ice water all day. Keeps my throat working and prevents headaches. Soda is sorta nasty.

    The idea that teachers are models for students goes back to the very beginning and even exists today in the moral turpitude clauses in our contracts (in some states — not all). There is some validity to the idea; we probably don’t want felons, etc. teaching kids; at the same time, the spectrum of behaviors we should be modeling is getting a little absurd.

  7. Quirky Mama says:

    I think letting my kid see an obese science teacher eating fast food, Twinkies and soda for lunch is okay. Sometimes the BEST influence for a child is a direct, obvious correlation between actions and consequences.

  8. Chandler,

    Get a grip. The machines are not free. Teachers much pay for the drinks. It is not like it breaks a school budget because they provide free drinks for teachers. Wake up!!

    Certain things in society are made available to those once you reach a certain age. Our society makes a big deal ot of little things and this is a perfect example.

    Grow up, America!!!!!

  9. Does this type of modeling apply to dress code as well? If students can’t wear flip-flops, does that mean teachers can’t either? There are just some rules that apply to kids that don’t apply to adults: driving a car, drinking alcohol, voting, gambling, etc. That does not mean that all adults in contact with children have to abide by the same rules. If that were the case, the school bus would stop by my house to take me to work!

  10. Welcome to the brave new world…keep chanting “yes we can, yes we can, yes we can…” And they will…

  11. Authority likes to push around those most likely to obey them. It’s much easier to take teachers’ soda machines than to get parents to watch their kids’ food intake. It’s much easier to tell teachers they have to model good behavior than it is to enforce good behavior from the kids. It’s easier to leverage change from the people who need the work than it is to leverage kids to change.

    It reminds me of all the tactics to change the behavior of victims while coddling the bullies. Victims are more likely to comply.

  12. Good grief. The soda machine in the teachers’ lounge gives me the opportunity to buy a soda to drink with lunch if I forget to bring one from home. I’m not drinking it in front of the kids, for crying out loud.

    And even if I were, as an adult I have the right and maturity of judgment to decide how much soda I can and should drink. Kids’ parents should be able to make those decisions for them. But if soda is readily available at school, that takes it out of the parents’ hands.

  13. This just strikes me as another example of trying to “protect” children by infantilizing everyone else. It’s like the move that was afoot a few years ago to reclassify any movie in which a character was seen smoking as being rated “R,” to protect children from demon tobacco (yes, even Popeye cartoons would be rated “R”).

    You don’t teach someone to make good choices by taking away the possibility of making bad ones.

    And, AFAIK, no teacher gets “free” sodas – like any vending machine, you pay a premium for what it contains. (We have a pop vending machine in the student lounge in my (college) building. It costs a buck to buy a pop. People still use it.)

  14. Andy Freeman says:

    > This just strikes me as another example of trying to “protect” children by infantilizing everyone else.

    It is.

    What role have teachers played in said infantilization trend?

  15. It’s silly to take them out of the lounges. However, if a school has a “no drinking soda or eating snacks in class” rule for students, it seems reasonable that teachers would be held to the same rule out of respect (at least during class time — need not apply to lunch, prep periods, etc). I would argue the same for the dress code: if the students have to abide by it, teachers and staff should too.

  16. Typical nanny state mentality! One person pees their pants, everyone has to wear the diaper. I was born in America but I don’t know where the hell I live now.