In the midst of Mes Chamorro and the food that comes along with it, students spoke out against the Department of Education’s change of heart this year about the banning of bringing in or preparing food for the various school’s Gupot Chamorro.
Kelaguen, barbeque, red rice, and titiyas.
That’s what public school students were hoping to serve and eat for their school’s Gupot Chamorro. However, it looks like that won’t be happening this year.
John F. Kennedy High School students brought up the issue to the Youth Congress and asked the Department of Education, why they made the sudden decision to stop students from bringing in or preparing food on campus when they have done so up until the last school year.
On K57’s afternoon show Four-Hour Phil with Phil Leon Guerrero, DOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez denies there was a sudden change, Board Policy 705 he says has been enacted since 2006.
Fernandez explains, The board policy itself addresses the school day as well as after-school extracurricular activities sanctioned by the school subjects any food being served to particular requirements to meet health and nutrition requirements. The other issue not necessary in the board policy itself is the issue of liability.”
Fernandez says many administrators have dealt with the issue of liability in the past when students either had food poisoning or were injured as a result of preparing food on campus.
What exactly was different this year that caused students to react? He says the old policy wasn’t being enforced and that administrators from the different schools have since reconsidered the risk.
Fernandez says, “What happened this year is in the past, when administrators have come forward to talk about Gupot Chamorro, they ask me what the policy is. I said read board policy 705 and ultimately they are responsible for what happens in their campus.”
Fernandez says if the administrators were violating the board policy in the past, they’re lucky they didn’t get caught or worse, no one got sick. To keep students happy, he says the board will come up with a solution, whether it’s suspending the policy’s after-school component or bringing in catered Chamorro food for the schools.
Youth Congress Speaker Lawrence Alcairo says the Youth Congress is willing to work with DOE. He says, “We do want to work with the Department. We have the Youth Congress members, JFK seniors, island-wide board of governing students coming together to find a creative solution so that everyone is happy without having to risk student safety and liability concerns.”