For the past couple of months, the Ford government has been shaking up the gravey train with cuts and bans left, right, and center.
Since Doug Ford took the position of premier in June 2018, students have gotten the short end of the stick with new policies and acts such as removing the sex-education curriculum, cuts to OSAP, a halt on hiring new teachers, a cell-phone ban across high school, and now the latest victim, bubble tea.
On Monday, a bill was passed at Queen’s Park that enforces a bubble tea ban across ALL “classrooms, computer labs, and lecture halls” across Ontario. The reason behind this bill? Bubble tea proposes a serious threat to students’ health and safety in the classroom by being, according to Ford, “a serious choking hazard.”
Bubble tea is a tea-based drink that wasinvented in Taiwan in 1986.
Here at Waterloo, it is a school-wide treasure, and is as iconic (if not, more) as iced coffee from Tim’s. As we all know, a staple ingredient in bubble tea is the tapioca pearls. According to Ford, “it’s too dangerous for classroom consumption,” even 33 years after its creation.
When asked about the new bill, Premier Doug Ford, a Toronto native, had this to say:
“It’s a very monumental day at Queen’s Park. Ford Nation does care about the students of Ontario, and making sure they have the best possible learning experience by being safe and healthy, no cap.
We also want to make sure the teachers who are teaching the youth are doing their job under the best possible conditions. We took a look at the current classroom culture and I feel like we really nailed it on getting rid of a major problem and detriment to the Ontario education experience.
It can get super annoying and frustrating when a bubble tea is being slurped during a lesson or work period, and can often be distracting to students who actually care about their learning. Especially when said ‘waste-student’ starts to choke on those bubbles. The coughing can get really distracting for both the teachers and the other students.”
As this law is in effect, it must be adhered to by all students. The consequences, as stated in the bill, includes “discipline at the school’s discrection” which could mean detention, suspension or even “expulsion from the school,” and depending on the severity of the distraction, a $200-$400 range fine, and, for post-secondary students, jail time.
Premier Ford has succeeded, yet again, to disappoint many students. Many students said that this is “a waste of time” and “pointless.” One student, who wished to remain anonymous, went as far as to say, “It’s only a choking hazard if you don’t know how to drink with a straw or your collar is too tight for your neck,” and then proceeded to sip her bubble tea.