Organizer Of Jenks 'Donuts With Dads' Says District Ignoring Will Of Parents
JENKS, Oklahoma - The debate over donuts at a Green Country school is far from over.
The school doesn't want parents bringing in junk food for a popular program once a month.
One dad who says he's throwing in the towel.
“If you meet before school, you can have donuts,” John Bennett said. “If you meet after school, you can have the donuts at the school. You just can't do it during the school. So you're not accomplishing anything.
"I think it's an arbitrary, kind of foolish, policy enforcement that is strongly against the vast majority sentiment of the parents."
10/9/2015 Related Story: Jenks District, Parents Meet Over 'Donuts with Dads' Controversy
Bennett, the father of three, has been heading up the Dynamic Dads program at Jenks East Elementary for the last six years.
It's something he's done with all three of his kids, this year being his last. But now, he says, because of this issue, he doesn't want to volunteer anymore.
"I'm done,” he said. “I'm done volunteering at the district level."
Jenks schools are now following the USDA Smart Snack Guidelines, which are listed in the school handbook this year under "nutritional guidelines.”
The policy states that the school will not provide snacks outside of those healthy guidelines but two times a year, specifically a holiday party and a Valentines party.
Which leaves no room for the Donuts with Dads program.
“There's nothing wrong with the health policy,” Bennett said. “There's nothing wrong with saying ‘we're going to serve healthy food to the kids.’ But let's be intelligent about how we implement that plan and how we interpret that policy. Be consistent with how we do it and not pick this particular program, and this particular program, but as long as you're outside these particular bounds, you can bring whatever you want."
For Donuts for Dads, fathers show up to school one Friday a month with books and 2,000 donuts that are paid for by parent donations.
“I would say it's probably the biggest activity that dads participate in at Jenks," Bennett said.
Parents said school administrators met with some of the dads on Friday and offered up some alternatives to donuts. It was suggested to have healthier snacks, crafts and other kid friendly activities.
As of now, John says he isn't sure what will happen or what parents will decide moving forward. He said donuts or not, the program will still go on.
However, he's still upset. He says what it boils down to is that parents should have input when it comes to their kids. He feels that's not what's happened.
“I certainly think my kids are getting a great education, and they do a phenomenal job teaching them and educating them, and I don't want to take this beyond what it is,” he said.
“But on this one issue, I do think that they are ignoring the will of the parents."