Some pupils hawk candy for profits

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Student entrepreneurship sometimes seems to be thwarting healthful food choice efforts.

Evans High School freshmen Leighton Stringfellow (left) and Johnathan Newman use one of the school's vending machines.  Jim Blaylock/Staff
Jim Blaylock/Staff
Evans High School freshmen Leighton Stringfellow (left) and Johnathan Newman use one of the school's vending machines.

Some youngsters are bringing candy to school, marking up the price and selling the black-market sweets for a profit, classmates say.

"They walk around, and people will buy it," said Johnathan Newman, 16, of Evans High School.

The going price usually is $1, said Evans classmate Leighton Stringfellow, 15, snacking on chips he bought out of a vending machine after school.

Those vending machines, however, are turned off during the school day, denying access to their chips, candy and soft drinks.

Margie Hamilton, Greenbrier High School's principal, acknowledged a few students could be selling candy, but the practice is prohibited.

"If they bring it in for their own ill-gotten gains, they lose it and they lose their proceeds," Dr. Hamilton said.

A second offense likely would result in an in-school suspension, she said.

Dr. Hamilton said unauthorized candy sales can be difficult to control because school organizations often sell candy to raise money.

She said the school is trying to come up with a way to identify candy being sold legitimately as a fundraiser.

Sandra Carraway, Columbia County schools' deputy superintendent, said the system does not have a specific policy against candy sales.

However, she said federal law prohibits schools from allowing vending machine or fundraising food sales during the school day to avoid competition with the federal lunch program.

Richmond County has a no-candy policy, Hephzibah High School Principal Veta New said.

"Sometimes we'll have a search and we'll collect candy," she said, adding that if the treats are for personal use she typically overlooks it.

About a year ago, Dr. New said, she had one young entrepreneur who was hawking candy, fruit drinks and other goodies out of a briefcase to make some easy money.

Students caught selling candy are written up, but it's not considered a serious offense, she said.

Brenda Smith, the principal of Paul Knox Middle School in North Augusta, said she was not aware of any illicit candy sales at the school, but the penalties could range from a verbal reprimand to an in-school or out-of-school suspension.

"Anytime you accept money from a child in any form, it has to be approved by the area supervisor," she said.

Although Sharon Carson, Greenbrier Middle School's principal, did not condone unsanctioned candy sales, she said it would be hard to eliminate sweets from school grounds altogether.

"Candy still is a great motivator for some kids," she said. "They just love it."

Such ventures also can apparently teach pupils a business lesson.

At least one Evans High student, who asked not to be identified, said he tried selling beef jerky but got out of the business.

"I was losing more money than I made," he said.

Staff Writer Greg Gelpi contributed to this story.

Reach Betsy Gilliland at (706) 868-1222, ext. 113, or

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karmakills123 04/04/08 - 05:49 am
AHHHH the good old American

AHHHH the good old American spirit of capitalism! This has been going on since Laura Ingles was in school..............I remember when sugar babies were going for a quarter...they were only a nickle at the store.............. LOL

Chuchi 04/04/08 - 06:26 am
Waaaaayyyyy back in the day,

Waaaaayyyyy back in the day, I used to buy bags of Blow Pops and sell them to my fellow health-concious pupils for a quarter apiece. Man, that was easy money. I didn't get in trouble because nobody minded and I made a nice little schoolgirl profit. Those were the days!

GuyIncognito 04/04/08 - 09:45 am
When candy is banned, only

When candy is banned, only the criminals will have candy. I, for one, welcome this police state. We shouldn't even let children bring their own lunches. They should all be eating a carefully selected and monitored blend of protiens and vitamins to ensure that they will be operating at peak efficiency.

TCB22 04/04/08 - 12:57 pm
In 1970 we all gravitated to

In 1970 we all gravitated to our "candy man" in school. He picked up all kinds of candy and chips at the store before school and sold it for a profit. We were happy to pay for it too. A good memory.

Lucy123 04/04/08 - 11:22 pm
I used to buy a pack of M&M's

I used to buy a pack of M&M's per day in French class to raise money for prom. I admit, as teacher, I'd probably still do it today if it were available.

The Bottom Line
The Bottom Line 04/05/08 - 06:33 pm
Achtung!!! There shall be no

Achtung!!! There shall be no CAPITALISM allowed in our school systems. What do you think this...a free country???

KSL 04/06/08 - 01:08 am
I don't remember candy being

I don't remember candy being sold, it was notebooks and pencils. You know, things connected to education.

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