The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL

Oviedo Journalism

The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL

Oviedo Journalism

The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL

Oviedo Journalism

Breaking up Valentine Grams

Candy grams are no longer allowed to be sold to high schoolers in Florida
After+the+re-evaluation+of+the+smart+snack+regulation%2C+candy+grams+can+no+longer+be+sold+to+high+school+students.+This+act+left+many+students+upset.
Cooper Garvey
After the re-evaluation of the “smart snack regulation,” candy grams can no longer be sold to high school students. This act left many students upset.

At Oviedo High School, students are accustomed to the sweet sugary treat of candy, whether gifted to themselves, by a friend, or by a lover on Valentine’s Day. Teachers tease students about receiving gifts, especially when chorus members stop by to sing them a love song. Although students can still gift and receive chocolate, they can no longer expect to buy them in the Commons. The chorus performances will hopefully remain consistent with previous years.

Valentine Candy Grams were always an easy and simple way for students to share their love. However, according to the Orlando Sentinel, candy is not allowed to be sold on school grounds, even for most fundraising purposes, due to the reexamining of a pre-existing “smart snack regulation” last year. There was concern for student health with the amount of sugar consumed, abandoning the idea of BETA-oriented candy grams.

A sophomore BETA student, Zachary Griffin, noted how the Candy Grams were looked forward to by students and will be viewed as a tragic loss.

“Most students like the little Candy Grams. And sometimes you could do them anonymously, so we thought it was a nice little thing all of the BETA team did, so it’s kind of bad that we can’t do give out candy,” Griffin said.

The BETA team may have something in store this year, but it is too early in the Valentine season to tell. 

“As of now, we don’t have anything planned, but we’ll probably get something in the works,” Griffin said.

However, there is an alternative way to support Oviedo High School and your loved ones during Valentine’s Day this year, with only three to four dollars.

“There’s not the option for just a bag of candy. So I guess maybe more people will buy Singing Valentines, and that’s a good thing to think about, but who knows?” Morgan Watts, choir teacher, said.

Singing Grams are a famed Chorus tradition, involving groups of Chorus students who would visit classrooms and sing songs the team had decided on. That is how it has been for years. After the passing of beloved Bill Schult, a new chorus teacher has been introduced this year, Morgan Watts. 

Gabriel Gonzalez, junior, explained how the program ran the past few years. 

“Schult was a very active teacher, but he let the students run the program and make it what we wanted to make it, so people who weren’t as motivated to work would fall off, and the people who wanted to get what had to be done took the lead. And really, the kids moved the program and that was the most important thing.”

“So this year, I’m not going to change anything. Next year, if I do this whole process and realize, ‘oh, this thing could be changed,’ then I will. But for now, it’s going to stay the same,” Watts said.

Brittney Johns, sophomore, also pointed out Watts will take some time to grow accustomed to her role, but like with every teacher and evolving program, variation is guaranteed.

“This is her first year teaching. She just graduated college, so she’s still getting used to all the other stuff,” Johns said.

Gabriel Gonzalez noted how, although Morgan Watts has been approaching the subject differently, it has been driving Oviedo High School’s Chorus in the right direction.

“Watts does a really good job at giving each section their own kind of leaders or having a section to do with whatever they do with the leader, so she kind of taps into it, but I don’t know how it’ll compare. It will definitely be a lot more busy,” Gonzalez said.

With the anticipation of a new teacher, that brings a different expectation to the program. It will take time for Morgan Watts to connect with her students and achieve that same bond that her predecessor had with the Choir students.

“A lot of teachers come into their position with their own mindset, and I think Watts did a really good job at being inclusive of everybody and understanding that we had a previous teacher, and it’s not a new program with the new teacher and students. Some kids are definitely still mourning the loss of said teacher [Schult], so it was definitely difficult for her.”

The Chorus students will continue to keep Singing Grams alive, as Watts has noted its incredible significance to the student body.

“I definitely did a lot of checking to make sure that this is something that was still wanted by the students and by the school, and I have had a resounding ‘yes, we love this.’ And so it seems like it’s a really beloved tradition. And so there is a little bit of pressure taking that on and making sure that it still runs smoothly and it’s something that people continue to love,” Watts said.

Brittney Johns agrees with their teacher, thinking Singing Grams should continue to flourish, as they are an essential part of the Valentine’s Day experience at OHS.

“It can introduce kids to the thought of, ‘hey, it’s more than just standing up on stage and singing.’ We do a whole bunch of fun, other things as well. And it’s a community of people, not just another class. It’s a whole community of family and friends,” Johns said.

Additionally, Watts believes Singing Valentines bring back the nostalgic memories of grade school. She noted that high school does not always allow those types of moments, and the Grams are one way to celebrate the holiday.

“I think it makes it a really fun special day. Normally in elementary school, you know valentines were a huge part of things, but in high school it kind of goes away to just as a regular day at school. I think adding a little bit of chaos and a little bit of excitement to the day is really fun.”

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