Fed Up With Menu, Students Stage Lunchroom Boycott

TIVOLI (AP) – Macaroni and cheese again? Students at a Texas junior high school staged a four-day boycott of cafeteria food last week to press for more menu choices and healthier alternatives.

About 30 students at Austwell-Tivoli Junior High School in Tivoli, Texas, near the Gulf Coast, shunned the cafeteria’s offerings and brought their lunches from home for four days last week, The Victoria Advocate reported over the weekend.

They demanded less menu repetition and more choice in what is served, including salads. President of the seventh-grade class Mckenzi Simmons said “boycott” was a vocabulary word in a recent Texas history class, and that students put what they’d learned into action.

“All we wanted was for our voice to be heard and a chance at change,” said Mckenzi, 12.

Superintendent Antonio Aguirre said his Austwell-Tivoli Independent School District offers free lunch to students and staff because a large portion of the district is deemed low-income by the state.

Aguirre defended the school’s menus, saying they are based on policy set by the Texas Department of Agriculture — which provide specific nutritional guidelines for foods like fruits and vegetables, portion sizes and fried foods.

But he also saluted the students for harnessing the “power of their own learning.”

“Kids will say, `When am I ever going to use this stuff?”‘ Aguirre said about some classrooms. “Maybe those girls are our leaders of tomorrow. Somebody has to jump up and do something different.”

On Wednesday, Mckenzi and the class vice president sent a letter to their principal, Stephen Maldonado, on behalf of their class, calling for less repetition in lunches and a choice of a salad. That same day, another letter she sent to the principal emphasized their stance.

“We have tried other solutions before,” the letter read. “However, seeing as there has been no change or consideration, we have come to this option. Once again, if we have hurt anyone’s feelings we are sincerely sorry, as it was unintentional.”

The students believe their demands have been heard and plan to now halt the boycott.

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(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/fed-up-with-menu-students-stage-lunchroom-boycott/ Fed Up With Menu, Students Stage Lunchroom Boycott « Fort Worth News Feeds

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    […] boycott of cafeteria food last week to press for more menu choices and healthier alternatives. More from: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/0… Filed under Uncategorized | Leave a […]

  • Ralphie

    Big deal…I did this for four YEARS at my school.

    • Been There

      Same here. We even left school to buy it at the nearby restaurant and gas station till we (students) were threatened with susupension. Then we just ate junk food in the lobby. Nothing’s changed in 25 years.

      • anita daeoph

        ALCinDC: Youre really out of touch with kids if you think they’ll eatt the health alt… This whole thing was prob inspired by a wacko lib like you, with the kid being the puppet

      • anita daeoph

        Kids will not eat the “heathy alternatives.” In VA we pay an ALOT in taxes for school food, and if you watch what the kids eat, the salad usually doesnt make it and ends up in the trash. Dont get me wrong, the food is pretty good, but not for kids. In restaurants managers take note of what is not being eatten and adjust accordingly; school should do the same.

      • ALCinDC

        In response to think and anita – read the article. These kids are ASKING for healthy alternatives like salad. Apparently the evil liberal agenda of trying to make children aware of healthy eating habits has worked! Oh god, retreat to your apocalypse bunkers and load your guns – the end is near!!!!

      • Jay

        Anita, I have seen several first graders choose the salad option at lunch and eat it. Just because you didn’t eat healthy as a kid or your children don’t want to eat healthy doesn’t mean that other kids don’t want to eat healthy.

      • Think for Yourselves

        Looks like that indoctrination thing is working out so well. Liberals thought that school kids would just roll over and do what big daddy government told them to do. There may be hope yet to get past this Obama clown.

    • pete

      If these kids could bring their own lunch for 4 days they can bring their own lunch EVERY day!

      Why are MY taxes paying for “free lunch” for them??

    • Geno

      Most people don’t get it. School lunches are expensive. If you want more choices and fresher foods, someone has to PAY for it. Who does that? Either paying customers of taxpayers. So – if you want better, be prepared to PAY for it. Nothing is free.

      • M. Ant

        Wrong Frank M. Tray cost is $1.00 if their lucky. Add on labor and direct expenses (Electric, gas, etc), and the $2.72 reimbursement rate doesn’t cover it. Produce is expensive as hell and as gas prices increse so does the groceries.

      • FrankM

        School lunches are NOT expensive Geno… Bulk purchased. The union labor however, is extraordinarily expensive.

      • krp

        School lunches are not expensive. They are bought in cans and frozen. What IS expensive it perishable items like lettuce and fresh vegetables.

      • Just wondering..

        How come the Staffs get freebie also?

      • JR

        NOTHING is free? I beg to differ. Ask the 42% of the people in this country who pay no taxes. It is all free to them.

    • JB

      If the students can bring a lunch from home why are lunches being supplied for free?

      • V Young

        This school is Provision 2 which means there are high enough numbers of free and reduced kids that the school can do away with the application process and all kids eat free. The only reimbursement that comes in for meals, is for those that are taken…not based on attendance. The school has to supplement the loss of the money that would have been generated for the paid and reduced meals by selling a la carte and snack items. If a student does not take a tray, the food service department does not receive money. My school is Provision 2 and we serve healthy meals, lots of fruits and vegetables, and many of our entree’s are made from scratch, not processed. Just because it is a free meal, does not mean that we don’t do our best to ensure that their meal is nutritious, tasty, and visually appealing.

      • http://henryjin.wordpress.com henryjin

        @V Young, what happens when the low income students complain that they can’t afford the a la carte items and your school is forced to even provide those for free? Alternatively, what if people start protesting about how unhealthy your a la carte snack items are? Your only solution would be to take away a la carte choices as well as the snack items. Then what are you left with? That’s right, the boring lunch menu items that you’ll have to manage under an inadequate budget in order to ensure “equality” for everyone. This is the inherent danger of communism: no one gets ahead.

      • gobnait

        Why indeed? Isn’t THAT the burning question?!

    • JOSE


      • krp

        Hey. The younger they learn that anyone or anything that is connected to the government is incompetent, the better.

      • Jay

        Mackenzi Simmons sure does sound like the name of an illegal alien. Did you even read the story?

      • Hilda

        Jose who said anything about illegal aliens? Just kids that used what they learned in class trying to get healthier food. Isn’t that what the government is telling us? To eat healthy and make better eating habits?????

    • David Dean O'Keefe

      Old cartoon:
      Principal: “Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention, nwo get out of my office”

      • David Dean O'Keefe


    • Fuzzy

      The second something is offered for “free” (free nowadays usually means someone else paid for it) is the same second you lose any argument about the quality or quantity of the received service/item. That should be lesson #1 to these girls. Lesson #2 should be the true definition of the word “free” instead of the one used so often in society. Live freely.

    • Stoney

      “If they are able to bring food from home, I guess they don’t need a free lunch program after all.”

      The food at home is also paid for by the taxpayer.

      • Ellie Light

        yep free food the OBama voter way — all the while MOOCHIE goes on her 16th vacation in the last 2 years — on the taxpayers dime

  • Jeff

    I wonder if this student watched mash and yeld we want something els lol

    • jpbrody

      I believe you meant to ask if the student watched TV, yelled “this is trash,we want something else.”

      • me

        Flying down on that broom of hers.

      • http://westcoastchatter.wordpress.com ~~JustMe~~

        That’s OK; Meeechelle to the rescue! No doubt she will fly down to make the changes! After her vacation of course ;)

    • Jerky Miester

      My sides are hurting from laughing so hard!

    • Not Jeff

      I believe you mean to ask if the student smoked hash., and yelled, “We want something else.”

    • TJG

      I think he wrote, “they are yelling for mashed peas”.

      • Mark Matis

        No, he meant “whirled peas”…

      • Robbzilla

        All that I’m saying, is give Peas a chance!

    • Jimbo Limbo

      I believe you mean to ask if the student watched the T.V. Show, M.A.S.H., and yelled, “We want something else.” lol?

      • TEE

        I believe you meant M*A*S*H not M.A.S.H.

      • LSMarto


  • Norbert g. ginsel

    I guess there were no brown bag police to confiscate their lunches. Typical Fed inefficiency.

    • george

      Just give ’em time.

    • dudette45

      And while i eat my lettuce sandwich on two day old white bread (declared unsuitable by food police) hope Michelle and the girls are having a lovely time in Aspen WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  • Stoney

    You’re getting the lunch free, and it’s not good enough for ‘ya.

    • Echo2012

      Remember, it’s not “free.” Taxpayers are getting hammered with the rising costs of feeding others’ kids. If the subsidized kiddos get hungry enough, they’ll eat it good old carbs & cheese.

      • krp

        The free lunch program is for those that “qualify”. Of course the cost of living in Texas is less than in New York, so the qualifications for free lunches in some parts of the country are people that would be solid middle class.

      • p3orion

        And a big “Howdy” to the tinfoil hat brigade. If you want the best laugh of your day, go read NoMoreLies’ blog.


      • p3orion

        My job is to attack, discredit, and divert attention. I love wasting your tax dollars. HaHaHa dumbsuckers. I rule this site!

      • M. Ant

        KRP. The program is based on Federal guidelines. A student in my district qualifies the same as a student in New York.

      • NoMoreLies

        All the news is practically made up after the coup and cover up. We have no president, freedom of press, or democracy. Welcome to tyranny compliments of the last election.

        The cover up is exposed here

      • Andrew P.

        Exactly. And how exactly were they able to bring lunches from home if they are in a free-lunch program? I thought it was only for those who can’t afford to make a lunch at home. Anyone who brought their own food should be dropped from the program

      • Jim

        Every kid in my kid’s district gets “free” lunch (there is breakfast also but I don’t know what the deal is with that) including my own kids on the rare days that they don’t bring a lunch. Last year there was a sudden push to get everyone to apply for it, including those of us who had no interest. Next thing I knew it was all “free”. Kids that just wanted milk had to pay for it (as they should) but they could get the milk free if they took a free lunch. Many of them would then dump the lunch and take the milk. Nanny state gone wild

  • ASOC2

    Boycott Palooz is spam, this guy is all over the internet.

  • Paulstrom

    “The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality” ~ H. L. Mencken

    —————————— http://911essentials.com

    • Vicky Bevis


  • Erick

    Wow – a bunch of 12 year old government dependent liberals.

    • http://ny9solyndra.wordpress.com NY9Solyndra

      It’s RACIST that they don’t get lobster, crab, filet mignon, etc.!

    • Sam

      We want steak for free, we want to be like the rich kids even though our familes are on welfare! We want it all and work for nothing. Wait they work, they work on abusing the system and taking advantage of our taxes.

      • Common Man

        Hi Cole, they are dependent upon their parents, who, in turn are dependent upon other tax payers, therefore they are future leaches. Eat your free lunch and stop your belly aching.

      • cole

        They’re 12, my friend. They are legally unable to acquire employment, and are the definition of dependent.

        Not every single event in life is a government bureaucrat wasting what little you actually pay in taxes or a welfare queen driving a Cadillac. Relax.

      • WWJD=Sad

        Right on Cole! With lowest tax burden in history people still complain. I wonder if they use roads?

      • Sam

        Hopefully they keep doing it and the school can stop feeding the spawn of welfare families. These kids are being raised to sit on their butts and request more.

      • John

        What “little taxes” I pay??? Pffffffft. Pull your head out your arse.

    • krp

      NO. They are protesting the incompetence of the government employees. These are TEA Party kids more than liberals. They are not sitting around and accepting whatever gruel the government forces them to take.

      While the story says that most of the kids get free lunches that doesn’t mean that all of them do. Even the kids that pay cash for their lunches are demanding a better product.

      • rose

        krp you are right on.i have eaten with mt child in our 5 star lunchroom paid for my meal NOT reduced and only drank my milk and eat the applesauce as the food was gross. way back when – we took a fried bologna and scrambled egg san bought mlik for 2cents enjoyed our meal more than those poor kids that bought their lunches .today nuttn has changed food still gross .

      • M. Ant

        Wrong. They feed ALL students free. The free % is high enough to cover all the students in the district.

  • julie

    Oh no……………you done did upset the “Obama Food Police’ !
    You will have to Serve 6 Months in their Brown Shirt Army !

    Report for Duty….June 7th 2012

  • Howdy

    One thing’s for sure: Mckenzi Simmons is going to grow up to be a giant PITA.

  • Reason 8200

    “Students at a Texas junior high school staged a four-day boycott of cafeteria food last week to press for more menu choices and healthier alternatives”
    Yeah right, the above sentence is the media spin. I’m really sure, wink wink, that kids staged a boycott for “healthier food alternatives”. More likely they were tired of moochell 0bama’s dictating to all schools they eat nothing but rabbit food.

    • Jay

      Have you ever thought that this is all there is to the story? Not everyone hates theobamas as much as you. What is wrong with promoting healthy eating? Being healthy means that these kids will not have as many health issues in the future and for all of you people who thinks they will all be welfare kids for the rest of their lives, that means they will be less of a tax burden for you in the future.

    • george

      I wondered myself whether that was the real story here.

  • Dana

    Feed them Soylent Green, I say.

    • me

      In addition to the government cheese they already eat.

  • RegularGuy

    Who knew? All these years I’ve been told that there is no such thing as a free lunch!

  • The Sage Waitress

    Quit using the term “free” when referring to handouts for low-income folks. The proper term is “taxpayer funded”.

  • Ren

    They are in 7th grade and only just learning what “boycott” means???

    And they are boycotting free food??? ….sounds like the school needs to have a class in economics.

    This is embarrassing. I am reminded of why our family has chosen homeschooling.

    • http://ny9solyndra.wordpress.com NY9Solyndra

      Hey! Stop being sexist!

      It’s now a “PERSONCOTT!”

    • george

      Yep. If these spoiled little brats get their way with this “boycott,” they’ll grow up to become the next wave of Occupy teat-suckers.

      • krp

        Boy, you really cannot read the stitches on a fastball, can you? These kids are TEA Party kids. They are protesting the incompetence of government employees. I say more power to them. The younger they learn that incompetence is inherent in government the better.

    • krp

      In what grade is “boycott” taught, in your opinion? “Boycott” comes from the name Charles Boycott, in 1880. My first recollection of this term comes from 8th grade American History.

    • Been There

      Just 1 in a 100 reasons to choose Home-Schooling!

  • http://wisupnorth.com/2012/02/texas-students-boycott-lunch-clash-with-food-police/ Texas Students Boycott Lunch, Clash With Food Police | Wis U.P. North

    […] more at CBS DFW via […]

  • Ren

    I should have said “free to them” food. It’s definitely not “free”.

  • changomango

    I grew up in that part of Texas, feed them tacos and fajitas, it’s what they want!

    • Been There

      Yo Quero Taco Bell

  • Yama

    Yeah, right, we are to believe a bunch of 12 years olds organized a ‘boycott’. What is the name of the leftist teacher pulling their strings?

    • george

      Must have been a leftist male teacher. If it had been a leftist lady teacher, she would have had the female kiddies calling it a “girlcott.”

      • krp

        A leftist would have them “boycott” some private business. They are boycotting and protesting the government. These are conservative TEA Party kids.

  • Sarah

    Maybe these girls? Is it an all-girl school? I’m confused. I also can’t tell from the mispelled name McKenzie if that’s a girl or a boy. If it’s a coeducational school, it’s odd they don’t want to say “children” could be leaders. Or need one gender not apply?

  • LeChat

    We did that back in the 1960’s The school caved in three days. I still have fond memories of that event. Now if the public would only do that with the TSA….

  • Gummint Skool Nomore

  • jerelthomas

    Wow. Complaining about a free lunch! I bet they showed everybody by making their parents actually be responsible for their lunch for four days!

    • BringingUptheFuture

      That was my thought exactly! The latest generation is so accustomed to entitlements that they are crying foul if the entitlements don’t measure up to their standards. I was wondering if anyone else picked up on that. My oldest only eats a few times a month at school and only when they’re serving the “good” stuff: chicken sandwiches, bacon cheeseburgers and popcorn chicken. I pay full price, even though we would qualify for reduced lunch. It’s the principle. My youngest hasn’t eaten cafeteria slop since Kindergarten. I’ve gone to eat lunch with him several times and I wouldn’t eat that garbage either. At least at his school I can still go pick up food from anywhere – including fast food – and eat with him.

    • krp

      They are protesting government incompetence.

  • http://ny9solyndra.wordpress.com NY9Solyndra


    See, they DID learn something from their liberal teachers!

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