Nearly 1,000 students and faculty members have signed a petition to restore chocolate milk to the lunchroom menu in the city's public schools.
"A container of chocolate milk that a student drinks is more nutritious than a container of reduced-fat white milk that the student throws away," Dominic Daoust told the School Board on Thursday.
Daoust, a senior at Niagara Falls High School, cited research statistics comparing chocolate milk with white milk, orange juice and mineral water, concluding that chocolate milk has little or no adverse effect on health.
He said that overall, the vitamins and nutrients in chocolate milk match those in reduced-fat white milk. The flavoring in chocolate milk is insufficient to cause any significant increase in obesity, Daoust added.
on behalf of "myself and the nearly 1,000 people who signed this petition." About 20 students in the audience applauded vigorously when Daoust finished speaking and handed the petition to members of the School Board.
Board President Carmelette Rotella said the members would consider the students' request. School Superintendent Cynthia A. Bianco said it also would be referred to school administrators and to the district's Health Committee.
In another matter, administrators from Harry F. Abate Elementary School told the board about the efforts of Abate students to be supportive of one another and to avoid bullying.
Cathy D'Angelo, an Abate school counselor, said the school's 700 students are "encouraged to recognize the differences among people of different cultures and to be generous with their compliments and praise instead of criticizing and attacking one another."
"We urge them to choose to use their power constructively," D'Angelo said.
Her comments came during a ceremony honoring students at Abate for their commitment to personal responsibility. Abate students Chester Bradley, Angel Marquez and Michael Thomas were given certificates for their demonstration of responsibility.