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Texas Students Boycott Repetitive School Lunches

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Flickr: USDAgov
Flickr: USDAgov

Dozens of students at a Texas middle school staged a boycott of the cafeteria lunch menu last week in protest of repetitive offerings, the Victoria Advocate reported.

Inspired by a recent history lesson in which they learned the word "boycott," around 30 seventh graders at Austwell-Tivoli Junior High School near Texas' Gulf Coast decided to bring their lunches from home Tuesday through Friday.

"We wanted more choice in what was served, as there was a lot of repetition in what was going on. All we wanted was for our voice to be heard and a chance at change," 12-year-old Mckenzi Simmons, president of the seventh-grade class, told the Advocate.

In an effort to show respect to the school's administration, Simmons said the class sent two separate letters to the principal articulating their complaints with the menu, according to the Associated Press.

"We have tried other solutions before. 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," one of the letters said.

In response to the protest, Superintendent Antonio Aguirre arranged for two weeks of varied lunch entrees and said the schedule may be repeated in the future.

Aguirre added that the school's lunch menu must adhere to strict nutritional guidelines set by the Texas Department of Agriculture, which limits the number of times certain foods can be served during a certain period, as well as portion sizes.

That means if students are looking for frequent offerings of frozen desserts or deep-fried foods, they're in for a disappointment.

Texas' current nutrition policy is the result of years of school lunch reform undertaken by state administrators in an effort to curb high sugar and fat content in meals, bar "competitive foods" like fast food and pizza from being served at classroom parties, and phase out deep-fried foods, according to the American Journal of Public Health.

As of Tuesday, the students believed their protest had been heard and planned to call an end to the boycott, according to the AP.

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