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Orinda Parents Sour Over School District's Crackdown On Sweets

ORINDA (KPIX 5) – The relationship between some parents in Orinda and the school district has soured over a debate on sweets in the classroom.

"It's getting to a point where we're controlling too much of what our kids are doing," said Cathy Hanley, a parent.

Some Orinda parents showed up at back to school night to a not so sweet surprise: a sugar crackdown. The new rules discourage bringing sweets, such as cupcakes and candy, into the classroom.

It applies to school celebrations and birthdays. The district wants to encourage parents to bring healthy alternatives.

Parents against it say it won't keep kids from candy. "It's always going to be available, junk food," Hanley said. "And kids are going to come down to Orinda, they are going to go to CVS and buy candy."

Not everyone feels this way. "The decision to give your kids a treat should be the decision of the individual parents," said Joanne McKinlay. "Bringing in food of this nature to celebrate birthdays I think we are setting our kids up to have a bad relationship between reward and junk food."

Orinda Unified superintendent Dr. Joe Jaconeete said, "I believe that healthy students make for healthy communities."

Jaconette stands by the decision that started from parents and teachers' concerns. "Parents came to us last year to express the need to do more in this area, and we listened to that," he said.

There is currently a petition to try to reverse that decision.

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