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Students begin to fight back against new bake sale rules

Two high school students are waging a campaign to get the Department of Education’s recent ban on lunch-time bake sales overturned.

Seth Hoffman, a senior at Beacon High School, and Matthew Melore, a senior at Bronx Science High School, will begin circulating a petition in their schools tomorrow, calling for the DOE to lift its restrictions on when and what students can sell to raise money for clubs.

Frustration over the new rules has already spilled into Facebook, which now hosts two pages — one created by Hoffman, the other by Melore — about the ban. Hundreds of students from other public high schools around the city have already joined both groups.

“Kids are talking about this a lot,” said Hoffman, 17. “This past week, everywhere I’ve been going it’s been a topic of discussion.”

Melore’s page has a draft of the petition, which begins:

The new change in the Regulation of The Chancellor A-812 is supposed to make schools a healthier environment for students throughout New York’s public school system. But the new reform actually restricts the freedom of students, creates a monopoly for companies that are contracted with the Department of Education and makes it much harder for students to raise money through the use of Bake Sales.

Hoffman said bake sales were a big deal at Beacon, allowing student groups to earn between $250 and $500 each time they hold one.

“We have them like every day,” he said. “There’s always a different group — the ultimate Frisbee team, the soccer team, Beacon Ink, our literary magazine — everyone is having bake sales.”

Once he collects over 1,000 signatures, Hoffman said he’ll take the petition to his city councilman. “We’ll see where it goes from there,” he said. “It’s not official yet, but it’s going to be big.”

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