Letters to the Editor

Feedback: DECA declares cartoon unfair

Your article of June 18, (Whidbey News-Times) titled “Out with the junk food” by Nathan Whalen did a great job of examining the Oak Harbor High School student store. However, the cartoon by Milt Priggee in the July 13 edition of the paper was poorly researched and presented.

Your cartoonist, Mr. Priggee, does not understand the line between profits, the issue of childhood obesity and a specific school program called DECA (an association of marketing students). Mr. Priggee simply put the issue of childhood obesity and profits at the high school on the shoulder of this group. He insinuates that this group of students, operating a learning lab for 47 minutes a day selling a variety of products, has little regard for their fellow Oak Harbor High School students.

The DECA program was developed to provide students with opportunities to learn about business and working in the business environment. Any profits realized from the sale of these items is utilized for business visits to Seattle, learning equipment, leadership camps, as well as state and national competitions. These students, many of whom have few opportunities to explore outside Island County, are able to travel around the United States and meet other students from around the world in an educational environment.

The DECA program profits are utilized to support students from a variety of backgrounds (i.e. single parent homes, students that work full time, students attending both the high school and Skagit Valley College). Due to the provided opportunities they are better prepared to enter post-secondary education and the business market.

As the Oak Harbor High School DECA advisor, I take exception to this cartoon for these reasons: The DECA program is educational; it provides hands-on experience; and it provides exceptional opportunities for our students.

The cartoonist does not understand the DECA program or our concerns about the obesity issue.

In closing, please advise your cartoonist to contact me to visit the DECA program, see that we sell more than just “candy,” and understand what we are really all about.

Eric Peterson

Oak Harbor High School DECA Advisor

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