The Wingspan

Centennial High School's Daily Online News Source

The Wingspan

The Wingspan

Food and drinks: Principal and student perspectives

Food and beverages have always been synonymous to a high school. According to Howard County Public School Systems Policy 9090, students are not allowed to consume their drinks or foods outside of the cafeteria unless they have a medical reason. This policy was adopted on March 23, 2006, and has been recently revised on April 7, 2022. Many students in the Centennial community are frustrated with stricter reinforcement, but why? 

Senior Shruthe Yoagentharan explains how she usually doesn’t carry food or beverages to school, but she has expressed that some of her friends are frustrated. She notes that the former principal seemed not to enforce the policy, as she could bring in various drinks and foods with no problem. 

She believes that one potential reason behind stricter guidelines is because of the new principal and recognized that they are seeking to enforce policies to the best of their ability to eliminate any potential hazards.

Yoagentharan also emphasizes with teachers because she understands that some of them get frustrated because their students leave wrappers, soda cans and crumbs behind, so the policy can help create a cleaner environment for students and teachers. 

While she understands the teacher’s perspective, she also believes that sometimes students do not have the opportunity to eat breakfast or lunch, and snacks can provide a fuel source for them.  

If she could modify the policy, Yoagentharan would allow students to bring in snacks and drinks as long as they discard them properly “As long as they don’t make a mess, I think they should be able to bring snacks and drinks,” she adds. She believes that disposing of food and keeping it discreet can help reduce allergy concerns.

Contrarily, Principal Joelle Miller expresses that the policy is a county-wide regulation and as administrator she only has the power to enforce the rules. She explains that the primary concern and the reasoning behind the policy is to decrease the likelihood of food allergy reactions.

Personally, Miller wants to foster a safe environment at Centennial High School (CHS), and in instances when students spill their drinks in the hallway, they tend to leave the mess, creating a safety hazard. However, she clarifies that she is okay with drinks in water bottles or tumblers. 

Another concern that Miller highlights is that custodians are working tirelessly to ensure the cleanliness and safety of CHS, so drinks and foods will simply add to their workload. Students also do not take the initiative to report spillage, furthering her enforcement of the HCPSS policies. 

She later emphasized that “I don’t get to pick and choose what policies I follow. So it’s not my rule.” 

Surprisingly, since the start of the school year, she has only had to approach two students who violated the policy, and she believes that it is not a significant concern that she is worried about, as students are following protocol. 

Miller leaves students with this message: “They could come to me for anything. Anybody that’s not happy can always come to me. I sincerely mean that.”


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About the Contributor
Edwin Wu, Online Editor