LOCAL BUSINESS: Kepnock Rd Express owner Jeanette Zandanel and staff member Theresa McRae say all students are welcome in the store. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
LOCAL BUSINESS: Kepnock Rd Express owner Jeanette Zandanel and staff member Theresa McRae say all students are welcome in the store. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

Parents, store fight school over students' right to shop

A KEPNOCK State High School parent has launched a petition to allow students the freedom to visit the shop next door after a ban - before, during and after school - was imposed by the school.

Nicole Henderson said her Year 11 daughter was not allowed to go to the Kepnock Road Express store.

"My daughter needed to go to the shop to buy personal items and was told she wasn't allowed," Mrs Henderson said.

"I see the principal walking up and down Kepnock Rd telling the kids to move along and they can't go into the shop.

"She shouldn't be allowed to stop the kids before and after school hours - something needs to be done."

Business owner Jeanette Zandanel said she was advised the Kepnock State High School principal had placed a ban on the students going to the shop in a bid to stop the obesity trend.

"I had a meeting with the principal after it was announced on parade during week one of school," Ms Zandanel said.

"She came down here and said it was to combat the obesity epidemic - so I showed her the healthy food we sell.

"I fully support the children not coming in school hours, but it's the before and after school time that has me concerned.

"She claimed it was under her duty of care for the children to go straight home and now we are losing business."

In this year's Kepnock State High student diary it states 'students are not permitted to be at local shops before, during and after school'.

Kepnock State High School principal Jenny Maier said the matter was about keeping the children safe and by hanging around in groups the likelihood of an issue arising was more likely.

"We do not permit the students to hang around parks, shops or anywhere in groups before or after school," Mrs Maier said.

"If they are hanging around or standing around for no particular purpose sometimes this leads to problems.

If they are hanging around or standing around for no particular purpose sometimes this leads to problems.

"We are addressing the issue of large groups - if a child wants to go to the store before or after school to get chocolate milk I can't stop them.

"It's the school's expectations that children won't cause issues whether it be in a store on Kepnock Rd or anywhere else."

The principal said outside of school hours they had no right to say what a child could and could not do.

"If a child wants to ride their skateboard down the middle of Elliott Heads Rd - I can't stop them, that's a police matter.

"We have no jurisdiction outside the school.

"My business is to make sure they are safe and it's not always the case when they are hanging around in a group."

Ms Zandanel said since the ban came into play she has lost a significant amount of sales.

"It's definitely not the health issue - we sell healthy snacks, salads, homemade pies and meals," Ms Zandanel said.

"Now I've noticed the kids are moving further afield to other stores in fear of being caught.

"It's a real kick in the belly."

The petition can be signed at the store and Mrs Henderson will be outside the school for the remainder of the week.

Should schools decide where students shop?

This poll ended on 14 February 2015.

Current Results

Yes - while students are in uniform they should do as they are told by the school

11%

No - it's a student's right to go to the store if they need something

88%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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