February 14, 2012
If students at Brooklyn Technical High School want to eat a homemade brownie with their lunch, they now have to do it surreptitiously.
The elite high school instituted a new policy last week banning all homemade baked goods from the building. Students are speculating that the policy is a response to drug-laced baked goods that are sometimes brought to the school.
The announcement came in Tech’s morning announcements Feb. 9, sandwiched between the Pledge of Allegiance and a notice about healthy relationships:
Attention students: Homemade baked goods are no longer allowed in Brooklyn Tech. Students found with baked goods will have them confiscated. Be advised that store brought baked goods in a sealed package are still allowed in school.
We apologize for any inconvenience.
Principal Randy Asher declined to comment on the new policy, citing an ongoing investigation. A spokeswoman for the Department of Education, Marge Feinberg, said the investigation was internal to the school.
She also said the policy change had nothing to do with the city’s own two-year-old restrictions on homemade goods at school bake sales. The restrictions ban the sales of homemade goods before 6 p.m. in school buildings, with a once-a-month exception for sales organized by parent organizations. ban on homemade goods being sold at school bake sales.
The city’s limits on school bake sales have made it tougher for Tech’s clubs to raise funds and have driven food sales onto the black market, Tech students said today. They said some students would bring baked goods to school and sell them in the halls and cafeteria or by word of mouth.
A sophomore who was buying a packaged chocolate chip coffee cake at Rocky’s Deli and Grill, on Tech’s block, before school today suggested that Tech’s administrators were trying to end that practice.
Plus, students said, at least some of the underground bake sales featured goodies laced with drugs, especially marijuana. Earlier this month, students at I.S. 208 in Queens bought pot-laced brownies from a classmate and ate them at school.
“I think the [new] policy is reasonable. … A lot of kids do actually put weed in stuff,” said a Tech junior who stood outside Rocky’s this morning. “But sometimes it’s a bit of a punishment, too, for the kids who don’t participate.”
“It’s really stupid because maybe one two people put bad things in, but not everybody’s going to do that, obviously, said another student, a sophomore.
Students said they doubted that administrators would crack down on a single homemade cookie pulled from a lunch bag but said they didn’t expect trays of brownies and cupcakes to make their usual appearances anytime soon.
The new policy was already having an impact today. Students said baked goods would typically have been part of Valentine’s Day celebrations, as they were during the lead-up to the holiday break in December. Instead, the parade of students down Fort Greene Place carried flowers, candy, stuffed animals, and even the occasional balloon — but no trays of baked goods.
“It takes away from the holiday,” said a sophomore on his way to school. “If we can’t do that next year [at the holidays], it’s going to be a big blow.”