After outraged parents threatened to sue over their child burning their tongue in IHS’s cafeteria, the administration has taken swift action to protect students. Their new policy, to take effect April 31, would ban any food or drink hotter than 75°F to be sold, consumed, or handled by students on IHS property. According to principal Trumble, “at the end of the day, this policy is about keeping our students safe. Principal Trumble wouldn’t want anyone to be engaging in unsafe activity, which is why we’re making sure that students don’t have access to dangerous food that could cause them to seriously burn their tongue.”
The district has authorized the purchase of laser dot thermometers to be used in monitoring students’ food consumption, which will be carried by administrators to ensure that all food is at a safe eating temperature of lukewarm. If students choose to bring food from school home, they are expressly forbidden from heating it up, and are warned that if they attempt to do so in any way, the district will find out and students will be punished. The newly created IT (Ingestion Temperature) department head, Zach Lentil, states that “We’re using the latest forms of food monitoring technology to detect when food is too hot, so if you try to heat your food up at home, we’ll know about it.” Although many students worry that these technologies will yield false positives and stop students from eating food that it wrongly detects as too hot, the administration reminds us that “We know about these risks, but when it comes to the risk of students burning their tongue or mouths, we can never be too safe. It’s not like we can just have no protection.”
After numerous complaints from students who want to eat foods like soup, pizza, or meatballs, which they claim taste better hot, the district promised that ways to access such food would be made available when deemed appropriate. Lentil claims “The process really wouldn’t be so hard. A student could simply fill out a form describing the food item they want to eat, and an administrator will determine if the food is too hot or not. They could also offer to blow off the item, ensuring safety for the student.”
Though rumors that this policy stems from a federal mandate have circulated, students are baffled as to why the administration wouldn’t just come out and state that as the sole justification for their actions, instead of providing reasons that students claim are “absurd.”
Ultimately, students don’t have much of a say in this issue. Principal Trumble explained to The Tattler that “students ought to be grateful that our school is able to provide them with such excellent facilities for eating food, even if they are limited in what they can eat.”
Though the administration refused to respond to many complaints from IHS seniors that the policy was “patronizing” and “insulting to our maturity and intelligence,” or to engage in debate with them on this topic during Social Justice Week, they are very clear that safety is a top priority, and remind those lodging complaints that not everyone is as responsible with hot food as they are.