A 9-year-old student led his classmates on a protest last week, after officials at his school removed chocolate milk from the lunch menu.
Jordan Reed and his classmates at Sierra Vista K-8 School in Vacaville, California, staged a protest over the 2020 decision to remove chocolate milk from lunch menus at schools across the district. Many students, like Reed, were upset with the decision made by school officials.
“We used to have it,” he told NBC affiliate KCRA-TV, “but then they just took it away.”
Another student stated that the drink was quite popular. “You’d be lucky to get a spot for chocolate milk, because it would all be gone,” sixth-grader Wesson Markowski told the outlet.
The idea to stage a protest started when Jordan’s teacher, Emily Doss, gave her students an assignment that hit close to home, according to Washington Post.
That day, Doss assigned her class a Scholastic News article titled Should Schools Serve Flavored Milk?, which was about a fourth-grader in Missouri who petitioned to reintroduce strawberry milk at his school.
On Friday February 11, 26 students in Jordan’s class embarked on a protest to bring back the drink and it worked. The protest drew the school district’s nutrition department to Sierra Vista for an impromptu, on-the-spot negotiation with Jordan and his comrades.
District chef and culinary manager Richie Wilim told The Washington Post that school officials originally pulled the drink from schools due to its high sugar content.
When the district’s director of student nutrition met with the group to hear what they had to say, Jordan argued that providing regular milk as the only option caused his classmates to drink less milk, leading to increased waste, the newspaper reported. He also claimed that students may be getting fewer nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.
The protest pushed the school board into agreeing to offer the sweetened milk once a week. “I felt good about it,” Jordan told the newspaper. “I brought back something that everybody wanted.”
Wilim, the district chef, said he thinks it’s great the students protested, admitting that he and others in the nutrition department “were missing a key component” until they heard from their most important critics.
“To remove it completely maybe wasn’t the best decision,” Wilim said, adding: “It was really cool the way that Jordan presented himself to bring in a healthy debate and for us to find a compromise — that chocolate milk should be available as a treat.” He also broke some good news for Jordan: School administrators plan to sweeten the deal they struck with him at Friday’s protest. They’ll offer chocolate milk once a week instead of every other week.
WATCH: California elementary school students protest removal of chocolate milk due to high sugar content, win compromise where it will be sold one day every other week (CNN). pic.twitter.com/G0TcicWKrP
— WDBJ7 (@WDBJ7) February 6, 2022