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Students must hide labels on food, beverages

The cafeterias of Lincoln County schools are now open tocommercial food and drink, but the identity of the item must beconcealed.

Board members Monday revised the district’s cafeteria policy toban brand names on drinks brought into the cafeteria. Beverages innon-breakable, thermos-style containers, however, may now bebrought in.

In addition commercially prepared food, such as that fromfast-food restaurants, may not be brought into the cafeteria in itsoriginal packaging.

An old policy prohibited students from bringing any commercialfood or drink on campus.

A parent initiated a review of the policy after complaining thather child could not bring bottled water onto the campus to avoidpaying the 75 cent fee the district charges for the same item.

Board members had discussed the policy for weeks after findingthat each school was essentially enforcing the existing rulesselectively.

“We’ve had a policy, but we haven’t really enforced it,” saidSuperintendent Terry Brister. “With these changes, we’ll be moreconsistent and actually enforce the policy.”

The new policy is similar to one in place in Brookhaven andother districts. In the Brookhaven School District, it is”recommended” that neither children nor adults bring canned orbottled drinks into the cafeteria without the label being removedor covered. It also “recommended” that fast-food restaurant mealsnot be brought in.

Brister said that by changing the wording of the existingpolicy, he felt the board could satisfy the desires of the ChildNutrition Program, students and parents.

The policy change did not affect the price of bottled wateroffered in the cafeteria, which had also been under discussion. Theboard left the price at 75 cents.

Brister said that price is competitive with other area districtsand with the policy change that became effective Monday studentswould be able to bring water from home if they desired.

Brookhaven schools charge $1 for bottled water, while LawrenceCounty schools are lower at 50 cents.

A phone survey of nine districts across southwest and centralMississippi showed 75 cents was about average, Brister said.