Health & Family

Fort Mill schools ban homemade food in class

Parents bringing food into Fort Mill classrooms will now need to bring a receipt or store packaging to show the food isn’t homemade.

The new rule is the result of a decision Tuesday by the Fort Mill school board to ban homemade food in classrooms.

The move includes all schools in the district. It doesn’t include school festivals, bake sales or similar special events.

“The policy talks about home-baked goods in classrooms,” said Marty McGinn, assistant superintendent for curriculum and human resources.

McGinn outlined several policy revisions and updates Monday that the board unanimously approved. Included were policies on students skipping grades, homeschool students participating in school competitions and others.

However, the move to eliminate homemade food in the classroom is a new policy. The district didn’t have anything set before Monday.

“It’s school-by-school,” McGinn said.

The change begins in the fall with a new school year. McGinn said she met with staff from each school and parent liaison groups, saying the change was met with near universal support.

The rule requires parents to show some evidence, such as a receipt of purchase, store packaging or an ingredient list, that the food they bring into classrooms is not homemade, officials said.

Concerns are for student safety with so many allergies to certain foods, she said.

Board Chairman Patrick White said he believes a main goal should be getting the word out ahead of parents who will be bringing food to classrooms to avoid problems.

“My fear is, somebody doesn’t know,” he said.

McGinn will continue looking for “any way that we can get the message out,” working with schools and parent groups to inform parents throughout the district.

That effort will continue through the summer into the fall, when the new policy begins.