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Valentine's Day Spoiler Options · View
Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2007 2:56:57 PM

Rank: Matriarch

Joined: 12/6/2006
Posts: 29,280
That's right, dump on innocent kids who are just discovering the joys of romance...

High schools are banning the latest scourge to terrorize them: Flowers on Valentine's Day:


OK, young lovers, you're back in action in Indianola, still on the fence at Valley High School, and out of luck at Johnston, Southeast Polk and Dowling Catholic.

Today's subject: Valentine's Day flowers.

Should schools allow deliveries?

On one side are florists, delivery drivers, and the thousands of lovesick teenagers desperately hoping Cupid will strike them at school, preferably in the form of a dozen long-stemmed roses.

On the other side are principals, teachers and office workers at high schools, whose rooms will resemble greenhouses a week from today, stuffed with Valentine's Day flowers, balloons, stuffed animals and candy.

"It was just a mess," said James Dowdle, principal at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, which banned all deliveries a few years ago.

You won't get past the doors with an FTD Lasting Romance Bouquet at Johnston or Southeast Polk high schools, either.

"The problem was, we looked like a flower shop in our main office," said Chuck Bredlow, principal at Southeast Polk, which has prohibited deliveries for about five years. "In fact, we'd have more flowers than flower shops."

A spot check of high schools found that policies range widely. Some principals have no problem with Valentine deliveries. Others ban them. And at least one, John Monroe, Indianola High School's principal, has changed his mind.

Monroe issued word recently that his school would no longer accept Valentine's Day deliveries. For him, the final straw came last year, when a student failed to receive the arrangement her parents had sent. The parents were angry with the school.

"We're not a floral shop," Monroe said.

The principal's edict surprised the owners of the Bloomin' Greenery and Ruth's Flower Shop in Indianola.

"We were both upset by it," said Joyce Gardner, owner of the Bloomin' Greenery. "We are constantly asked to support the schools, whether it be for sports or the student council, and we put ads in the yearbook all the time. We're happy to do it.

"But we heard about this after the fact, and we would have been glad to work with them. I was a little hurt by it, actually."

Pat Tierney, 18, the Indianola student body president, explained his classmates' position: "This is a big part of the holiday and the overall atmosphere of our school."

Monroe relented Tuesday. He said deliveries will be allowed, but the florists will have to offer a contribution to the student council, whose members will keep track of deliveries during their free periods. The amount of the donation has not been determined.

"I know it's an important part of the kids' lives," Monroe said. "I don't want to be a Scrooge about this. I just don't want a problem."

Hy-Vee Food Store in Indianola has agreed to the arrangement, he said. As for Gardner, she said, "I'm not sure what I think right now. I do want to work with them."

Jennifer Sparks, the vice president of marketing for the Society of American Florists, the national trade organization that represents 12,000 growers and retailers, said florists are willing to work with schools to avoid disruptions.

"I think maybe there's a happy medium," she said.

Perhaps someone can offer a solution to Vicky Poole, the principal at Valley High School in West Des Moines.

A renovation project has greatly reduced the amount of space available for the school's 1,900 students, she said. And she has another student who is allergic to the latex that is used in balloons.

Poole said school officials will decide by the end of this week whether to again permit Valentine's Day deliveries.

"It's just increasingly becoming a management problem," she said.

Several of the principals who allow deliveries said students must wait until the end of the school day to collect them. Classes are not interrupted, they said.

Two of the largest schools in the state - East and Lincoln in Des Moines - allow deliveries.

"We don't really have a big problem with it," said Mike Zelenovich, East's principal. "Teachers haven't complained that it's disrupting classes."

Some schools, including Dowling and Southeast Polk, allow student organizations to sell carnations on Valentine's Day as a way to raise money. So there's still a chance for students there to express their affection.

In Indianola, Principal Monroe said he probably won't benefit personally from his change of heart.

"The last time I bought flowers for my wife, she said, 'Don't waste your money,' so I don't think that's going to be an issue," he said.

Posted: Thursday, February 8, 2007 3:35:47 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 12/22/2006
Posts: 12
They should be encouraging romantic notions in children - not enough romance in the world these days...
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