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Girl Scout Mothers Upset Over School District Policy

An age-old policy is drawing the ire of Girl Scout mothers in the Canutillo School District.

Gracie Grier, grandmother of a 10-year-old girl who sells Girl Scout cookies, fears her granddaughter won?t make her goal of selling 400 boxes of cookies this year. That?s because she recently learned of a policy that does not allow children to sell products on school grounds, including Girl Scout cookies.

?That?s kind of disappointing for the girls? who have teachers that they go to each year and they know they will buy from them,? said Grier.

Grier says her granddaughter, Vivica, has been selling cookies at Canutillo Elementary School for four years. This would be the first year she can?t.

According to school officials, the rules aren?t new. However, they believe recent meetings to go over policies within the schools have made teachers realize they were never allowed to buy cookies from students in the first place.

?I absolutely understand the other side of this,? said Dr. Damon Murphy, Superintendent of the Canutillo. ?Yet, we have to maintain our policies as we move forward. This is what our community of El Paso is very concerned with us these days.?

Dr. Murphy said that the policy isn?t aimed directly at Girl Scouts. It?s a policy that has stood for many years that bans non-school vendors from selling products within the schools.

For Murphy, and other school superintendents, these policies can be a double-edged sword. Enforcing them can seem cruel at times, but at a time where community members are looking at officials and questioning whether they?re acting properly he has little choice but to enforce the rules given to him.

?There is a lot of scrutiny, and concern, regarding the ethics and how we carry ourselves following the laws, rules, and procedures,? said Murphy.

For Grier, the issue isn?t such a big deal. She simply wants her granddaughter to continue selling cookies in a safe manner.

?We might have to push it door-to-door and I think that is a little bit more dangerous because you don?t know who is behind that door,? said Grier.

Murphy left open the possibility of finding a compromise. Moving forward he is hoping to sit down with members of the local Girl Scout groups to see if they can open a discussion and find an agreement within the parameters of the rules he?s been given to make all sides happy.

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