Elementary School To Stop Serving Mountain Dew Shots Before Florida Assessment Tests

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A Florida elementary school has agreed to stop serving Mountain Dew to students before they take state assessment tests after parents complained.

Creel Elementary School in Melbourne was serving students trail mix and about three tablespoons of the Mountain Dew before administering the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test each day.

Critics say giving students the sugary caffeine-laden drink could cause them to crash in from a sugar high in the middle of a test that is used in high-stakes educational decisions.

"She said every morning, they had Mountain Dew," grandmother Martha Thorp said her 10-year-old granddaughter told her.

Creel Principal Kathryn Eward told Florida Today that the practice is about 10 years old. She says it began after she read a Phi delta Kappa study about its positive impact on students’ energy levels.

Thorp, who was an educator locally for 20 years, said she never heard of schools giving soda to kids.

"To me, it's a poor precedent," she said. "We're setting for young children that they should be hyped up before a test."

"I don't believe that anyone but the parent should be able to give permission for that type of drink to be given to a child," she added.

Thorp contacted local media, which got the attention of Brevard Public schools officials.

"Once that was brought to our attention, we eliminated that practice," Brevard Public Schools Spokeswoman Michelle Irwin said. "We've advised Creel Elementary to only provide water as a beverage."

"She felt that it was a professional practice and implemented it," Irwin said of Eward. "Since then, there's been new information (about what's best for students)."