Lots Of Food; Out Of Coffee

The Staples High School guidance department bends over backward for everyone.

This week — during the half-hour between 1st and 2nd final exams of the day — they’ve handed out snacks and drinks to students.

It’s part of their “Resilience Project,” providing information and resources to help teenagers balance their lives.

Guidance - food

Deb Slocum, Vicki Capozzi and Leslie Hammer prepare for the onslaught. Spencer Daniels and Kenny Brill hover hungrily nearby.

But one Staples drink of choice — coffee — will not be available next year.

Inklings — the school paper — reports that in the fall, Connecticut public schools that sell coffee to students will lose state aid.


It’s a legal beverage. Older students — many of whom can drive, donate blood, vote (and who must, if they’re male, sign up for the draft) — drink coffee. With the 7:30 a.m. start time, it’s a necessity for some — just like their parents.

If they can’t buy it at Staples, they may stop at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. Where they’ll pay more. Then race to school.

Ah, the Law of Unintended Consequences…


37 responses to “Lots Of Food; Out Of Coffee

  1. Shari Walters Bryer

    I was a student at Staples in 1982, I always got coffee from the guidance department, your right, they are going to pay more at Dunkin Donuts, risk getting into an accident, getting a speeding ticket and being late. What is wrong with these people, where are our freedoms as Americans. We are not breaking any laws by serving coffee to teenagers.

  2. You are reaping the seeds that were sown

  3. Elizabeth Thibault

    An enterprising student should store a small Keurig in their locker, (kids still have lockers, right?,) get the DD pods, and enjoy a cuppa with friends without the rush. If they’re really prepared, they could bring a small cooler with the half-and-half in, and probably have staff lining up for some too. 😉 (I was told by my 6th grade b-ball coach that drinking coffee would stunt my growth, every time I snuck a sip, when he would send me to get him a cup. Apparently he was right!)

  4. Gloria Gouveia, Land Use Consultants

    Oh good griief! Have we not all learned thanks to 06880, of the perils of decaffinated behavior as observed at Starbucks?
    If the operative term in the State’s edict refers to the SALE of coffee to students, the solution may be to offer it without charge.
    As a chronically sleep deprived Wilton High School student, I would not have made it to graduation must less maintained a 4.0 grade point average without my daily requirement of black coffee,

    If this is not some clever ruse to see if we’re paying attention (Dan?), I’d be happy to be the first to contribute to the Committee to Serve Free Coffee at Staples.

  5. Well, I was about to say something about black tea being just as high in caffeine but decided to first check a reliable source. Turns out I was wrong.

    The Mayo Clinic has some interesting info here:

    It says: “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that adolescents get no more than 100 mg of caffeine a day.” One cup of coffee can have almost 200 mg.

    I do wonder if making coffee into contraband will make it seem all the more appealing.

    I am reminded of Ms. Blumhart who taught a wonderful Shakespeare class at Staples. I recall her saying that when she sat in her office, read books and drank coffee, she felt that she was living life in the fast lane. Indeed.

    • Nina Skaya – I passed along your reference to Ms Blumhardt who was delighted by your memory. She’s been retired for over twenty years so this pleased her. Thank you. Sipping coffee as I write this.

  6. Mary Ann West

    Breathe everyone: in and out slowly…. this is a federal mandate because it is not in your realm of Westport, but in many other communities and schools across the country, that cup of coffee maybe the students’ choice instead of something, anything more nutritious.

    Yes, we would stop on occasion at a bagel place before school, but then other than Dr. K’s “Get your ass to class” 7:30 AM start, it was more of a social thing then necessary. We also made coffee at home.

  7. Jack Whittle

    This approach regarding the sale of coffee is consistent with the view that soda should not be sold in high schools (it has sugar! it has caffeine!) and the relevant law which lists those beverages which ARE permitted to be sold in CT schools is CT General Statute Chapter 170, Section 10-221q (2006).

    Here’s the rather restricted list of approved items: “(1) Milk that may be flavored but contain no artificial sweeteners and no more than four grams of sugar per ounce, (2) nondairy milks such as soy or rice milk, which may be flavored but contain no artificial sweeteners, no more than four grams of sugar per ounce, no more than thirty-five per cent of calories from fat per portion and no more than ten per cent of calories from saturated fat per portion, (3) one hundred per cent fruit juice, vegetable juice or combination of such juices, containing no added sugars, sweeteners or artificial sweeteners, (4) beverages that contain only water and fruit or vegetable juice and have no added sugars, sweeteners or artificial sweeteners, and (5) water, which may be flavored but contain no added sugars, sweeteners, artificial sweeteners or caffeine. Portion sizes of beverages, other than water as described in subdivision (5) of this subsection, that are offered for sale pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed twelve ounces.

    Note, you cannot even purchase a 16 oz cup of pure orange juice in a school.

    I would be remiss if I failed to point out that those who tend to favor this sort of government intervention in our own personal choices in our daily lives (limit the amount of sugary drink you can buy, prohibit the sale of soda in schools, force you to wear a seat-belt, force you to buy health insurance) should be quite happy with a ban on the sale of coffee in schools.

  8. Tsang, Betty

    Can you give away free coffee with a purchase of say a bagel?


  9. Go ahead, Republicans: Stop wearing seat beats, forgo health care, and drink a Big Gulp before breakfast. Knock yourselves out!

    • They can’t, you and Nanny made all those action illegal.

      • But aren’t Republicans all about enterprise, work-arounds, and halting the wheels of progress? Don’t underestimate yourselves: You guys can bring an entire economy to its knees.

  10. Sandy Soennichsen

    Tom…..Republicans? Oh well, I’m giving you the benefit of doubt, that you obviously have no knowledge or education on the political systems of our country. It’s ignorance that brings an economy to its knees.

    • I have no idea what you’re trying to say in that twisted piece of syntax, but I’ll happily stipulate that ignorance is everywhere.

  11. “They can’t, [sic] you and Nanny made all those action [sic] illegal.” Tell me more about responsibility and being critical of others. I could listen all day.

  12. Mike Petrino

    I believe you could.

  13. Mike Petrino

    Superintendent Elliot Landon believes the decision is “absurd” and high school students are old enough to make their own decisions about what they eat or drink when at school. He fears that this decision may lead to more problems than having coffee in the cafeteria. “Many (students) will seek coffee from local retail outlets, oftentimes making them late for the start of school, and jeopardizing their safety as they attempt to get back to school in their automobiles at high rates of speed,” said Landon. – See more at: http://www.inklingsnews.com/news/2014/06/13/state-snatches-coffee-from-students/#sthash.TRd115kb.dpuf

  14. Jamie Walsh

    Not to stray of topic but Tom…why are you always so mad at Republicans? For the record…I grew up in a divided political family and found a middle ground…as I am an Independent who has pulled the lever on both sides of the aisle. You also almost always seem angry and dismissive of any opposing opinion. Namaste Tom!

    • I think kids should have coffee at Staples, too, but if you’ll look back at the original post, you can see how a cavalier dismissal of seat-belt laws and universal health care–AFTER A POST ABOUT MORNING COFFEE AT STAPLES–might rub some people the wrong way.

      Angry? Dismissive? Yep. Guilty as charged. Hang out a shingle and shrink your days away! I AM tired of Bible-thumping, ethics-humping conservatives. And I won’t apologize for having a point of view or for expressing it in clear language.

      • Jack Whittle

        Tom – since you seem to be referring to my entry, there was no cavalier dismissal of belt laws or mandatory health insurance in my post, rather a point about consistency was being made – rather plainly, I might add.

        • So…federal, state, and local laws are not consistent. Breaking news. It seems you’ve thought better of your post and are trying to backtrack. Good luck with that.

          • Jack Whittle

            Sorry Tom, you missed again – the point about consistency was directed at “those who tend to favor this sort of government intervention,” as I clearly stated. In my first post. Which I stand by. To be clear. You seem to be confused, more so than usual – suggest coffee, or a tall, sugary drink. Or a ride on a motorcycle without a helmet. These all work for me . . .

  15. Jamie Walsh

    By the way…removal of coffee in High School when you are old enough to die for your country….ridiculous!

  16. jerrymacdaid

    Thank you, Michelle.

  17. Tom I actually have no time to hang a shingle out and I think it is a little late in life for me to deviate from my actual day job. It does seem clear to me,however, that most of your comments have a boilerplate one sided liberal opinion so your failure to promote tolerance seem contrary to that values you strive so hard to promote. By the way…most Bible thumpers have zero tolerance for anyone not of like mind…so it appears you have a lot in common with your opposition. As my father once said ” an extreme liberal is a lot like an extreme conservative…they are both playing outside the boundries of reality”. I learned a lot from my father! A little tolerance and moderation goes along way… Hey Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan worked it out! If we still had Democrats, Republicans and the few odd independents in Washington like them…we might all be in a better position both domestically and internationally. But again…this is about coffee in High School and I am at least glad we can agree on that!

    • I have zero tolerance for the intolerant. Big difference. (Subtlety’s a bitch.)

  18. Yeah, but you still come across as angry, and let’s face it…that’s a real bitch!

  19. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Crickets.

  20. Doug Conner

    What would Dr Oz say?

  21. How about some creative energy and productive thinking neighbors?
    Would it be considered coffee sold on property if a coffee truck sold it on premise? Could be a great business opportunity for one or more of our local coffee shops—Steam and Java!?
    Imagine if there was actually cooperation.
    Then you can all have heated, but respectful (of course) political debates over a tasty cuppa, and our community would feel more like a community than a dartboard for vitriol.
    I vote for that.

    • Outside vendors are not allowed. Chartwells is the contracted vendor.

      • Ok, then. No outside vendors.

        How about instead taking the approach that these kids COULD learn alternatives to caffeine to stay alert? There are many.
        I’m curious how this sense of entitlement to free coffee is any different from the strongly criticized 2-spot parking job in this same issue of 06880?
        They are both blatant examples of how entitled and spoiled this town is. Not having free coffee is a first world problem.