Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sweet deal soured for one area school

Updated: Friday, 03 Dec 2010, 8:20 PM CST
Published : Friday, 03 Dec 2010, 8:20 PM CST

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Students at Blanton Elementary in East Austin enjoy getting their afternoon treats from the ice cream man. But AISD policy does not allow private vendors onto school property. So, the vendor is no longer allowed to sell on the grounds there.

Initially, school officials allowed the vendor on the grounds for safety reasons, so students wouldn't have to cross busy Westminster Drive.

"It's just helping the kids not run across the street and they're not paying attention saying, 'oh, I want ice cream'," said parent Crystal Adams.

"I can see no problem," said Evaristo Zuniga.

KXAN received a call about the vendor from a concerned grandparent Thursday afternoon. He was not happy with the fact that junk food was being sold right outside the doors of Blanton Elementary.

"That doesn't make any sense," Adams said. "Every Friday they'll be out here selling popcorn or candy and sodas and everything to the kids, so what's the difference in selling ice cream."

Adams is referring to school fundraisers and school activities, but this particular ice cream man is a private vendor.

According to AISD, private vendors are not allowed on school property.

KXAN began to investigate the rules for private vendors on AISD school grounds. But, school officials were not able to release the information Thursday afternoon.

By Friday, KXAN revisited the school, and at that point the vendor was asked to leave the property.

It was not until late Friday afternoon when AISD was able to give information to KXAN stating that private vendors are not allowed to be on school property.

A note was also sent to Blanton Elementary students and parents from the principal, Dora Molina, stating, "As of today the vendor will no longer be permitted on school grounds. In case the vendor moves across the street we will continue to work with AISD police to develop a safety plan for our families."

Adams said, "Saying that he's not going to be here anymore. I mean if that's what they want that's fine. They can always get ice cream later if they want anyway. They come around the house, so it's ok."

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