Vending Machines: They Gray Area

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Marisa Sheppard and Andriana Silva, Journalists

Throughout the day, whether it is at school or work, everyone always gets a sense of hunger or thirst. We have all had those mornings where we are hustling to get to where we need to be on time and just don’t have time to pack food. Luckily, at Ipswich High School we have two vending machines in our cafeteria, one for snacks and one for water and drinks. Recently this year, we have found that there has been a gray area when it comes to the use of the vending machines. One of the biggest questions that have been going around is when can they actually be used?

Students at Ipswich have never really had a clear explanation as to what the rules are with the vending machines. Starting this year, students have had consequences for using them during the day. Why have vending machines at school if we can’t use them throughout the day? And if there are only certain times when they can be used, why haven’t they made this clear to the students? The gray area with vending machines is one that needs to be defined properly so students aren’t facing consequences for something they didn’t even realize they were doing wrong.

Lately, there have been many questions from parents, students, and faculty around the subject of vending machines, because of the recent problems that have happened. A parent we interviewed who asked to stay anonymous thinks “If my child is hungry or thirsty during the day they should be able to go down and get a drink or a snack and continue with their day.” Why should a student be punished for getting a snack or a drink during the day? What’s the point of having them if they can barely be used? Parents assume the school is a safe and caring environment for their children, but they start to rethink that when they hear the school is restricting when food and drinks can be purchased. Some kids rely on the school for food and drinks during the day and sometimes waiting until second lunch at 12:38 is too long with no drink or snack.

In conclusion, we believe that the rules that go with the vending machines need to be set and made clear. We, as well as many others, think that if we are going to include vending machines in our school we should be able to use them when we would like when we are hungry or thirsty as long as the time is appropriate. We understand there are times where it would be inappropriate to use the vending machines but if the time is appropriate why not be able to grab a snack or a drink? We believe that setting designated rules and times to use the vending machines will help make them more useful and keep students from getting in trouble.