“Control freak politicians are now taking over the job parents used to be expected to do”, says ACT’s Education spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“First, Labour decided parents couldn’t be trusted to make sure kids got lunch. Now, it’s decided to take away fizzy drinks and proposing to replace them with oat milk.

“The Ministry of Education seems to believe that its job is now to raise kids and impart its view of the world on everything from the Treaty to fizzy drinks.

“The proposed ban on fizzy drinks in schools is the worst kind of nanny statism from a Labour Government that only knows how to ban and tax stuff it doesn’t like.

“Education Minister Chris Hipkins is proposing to change the National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) for school boards. NAGs is an appropriate name for what the Government is doing.

“Any good parent knows that when you ban something, it only makes kids want it more. Instead of getting a drink from the canteen, they’ll simply head to the dairy up the road to buy their coke.

“Education bureaucrats in their wisdom have decided that the only ‘healthy’ drinks are water, reduced or low-fat milk, and plant-based milks like soy, rice, almond, oat milk. It’s difficult to believe students won’t be offered the options of full fat milk or orange juice.

“ACT believes it should be up to schools to decide what to offer students. We don’t need control-freak politicians and bureaucrats lecturing children on what they can or can’t consume.

“The Government has bigger fish to fry when it comes to education with declining literacy and numeracy standards and rising truancy rates. Instead, it's focused on taking over the job of parents.”

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