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Mum says there's nothing sweet about school candy ban

NO CANDY CANES: A Bundaberg mum has bought alternate gifts for her children to give their friends after their school banned candy canes.
NO CANDY CANES: A Bundaberg mum has bought alternate gifts for her children to give their friends after their school banned candy canes. Kayla Reid

A BUNDABERG mother will not let her children's school ruin Christmas after it banned candy canes.

The ban includes giving the canes inside Christmas cards as gifts.

Mother-of-three Kayla Reid was shocked, to say the least, on Wednesday when she received a text message from Branyan Road State School stating the red and white striped candies were not welcome any more.

With two children at the school Ms Reid was saddened at first and couldn't see the point in banning the sweets when so many students took unhealthier snacks in their lunch box.

She said it was a ridiculous rule and if it was an issue the school could have looked in to other ways to prevent the candy canes being opened at school.

Ms Reid suggested teachers handing them out at the end of the school day, just as they did with newsletters, could have been an option.

She said it was her families tradition to "take over the lounge and have some awesome bonding time" at this time of year when getting the cards and candy canes ready.

"Saying no, stops families from having their Christmas traditions and generous spirit Christmas brings," Ms Reid said.

School principal Geoff Fitzgerald said he saw student's behaviour change after they'd consumed up to seven of the sweets in one day.

He said this was the first year the school had placed a ban on candy canes as they saw it as a "sugar overload".

The sms also stated there was too much rubbish left behind because of the confectionery.

"This has nothing to do with Christmas," he said.

"We are seeing children with them first thing in the morning walking around with five, six or seven in their hand.

"Children are eating them for breakfast and that's not ideal."

Ms Reid's sadness has now turned to determination to keep the Christmas spirit alive and she has vowed to find a jolly substitute without breaking the rules.

"I am usually one to follow the rules and try not to make waves," she said.

"(But now) I will be going to Kmart and finding a substitute. I won't allow them to ruin this tradition for my kids."

Bundaberg grandmother-of-nine Sue Riley also spoke with the NewsMail saying the tradition had been around since she was a child and it would be sad to see it go.

"I understand the concerns about the sugar," she said.

"But it's a little bit ridiculous to ban something that has been around for generations."

A Queensland Education Department spokesman said it was up to the individual school whether or not Christmas cards and candy canes were allowed.

"We don't encourage children to eat sugar and encourage healthy eating," he said.

The department would not enforce schools to ban or allow the Christmas tradition.

Topics:  branyan road state school bundaberg candy canes christmas christmas cards christmas spirit department of education and training editors picks geoff fitzgerald kayla reid queensland department of education


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