Food fight: superintendent & edu-board discuss policy - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Food fight: superintendent & edu-board discuss policy

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The Guam Education Board scheduled a special work session to discuss a board policy that expressly prohibits food from being brought into public schools. It's a policy, however, that's been overlooked for years during Chamorro Month celebrations but just now being enforced. And for students looking forward to annual Gupot Chamorro celebrations, they've taken their frustrations to KUAM News and social media, urging education leaders to lift the ban.

Today's work session was called at the request of Department of Education superintendent Jon Fernandez, who for weeks has been getting an earful from students protesting DOE's decision to enforce Board Policy 705. Fernandez is hoping to get good reviews of suggestions he's sent to the Guam Education Board to end the food fight over the policy. It provides nutritional, food safety, and school lunch program requirements that would be violated if outside food were served at Gupot Chamorro.

After taking heat from students over the last couple of weeks, Fernandez sent a memo to the GEB, which includes an array of choices to address students concerns.

Among the options the superintendent suggests are suspending the board policy for school-sanctioned after school activities, allowing secondary schools to end early for an after school Gupot Chamorro event, allowing for preparation of Chamorro food by a properly licensed food vendor, and requiring liability waivers for all students who participate. Fernandez said the proposals are under review by his legal counsel.

GEB chairperson Peter Alexis Ada says for him personally, it comes down to liability. "I'm not going to wait for an opportunity to happen for one kid becomes something happens because of the brought in food, I can't chance that and maybe tonight's discussion might change my mind, but I'm very leery. That's a big question in my mind. Even if they sign a waiver all it takes is one kid to fall ill. The burden now comes back to the board you allowed it to happen."


During this evening's meeting a representative from each high school was allowed to address the board. Members are expected to make a decision during a meeting scheduled for next week.

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