First, let’s start by saying all identities and personal information have been removed to protect the merchants and customers at Roy C. Start High School.
There are about 1,330 students in this school, and many of them are doing more than just their school work. These individuals are not only using their book smarts, but their street smarts — and putting their skills to the test.
A small merchant community is thriving at Start, but is very low key and keeps business on a need-to-know basis.
But a new enemy has come into play against this emerging commerce — narcs. Yes, it can be hard to believe that teenagers would go out of their way to purposely bring down a fellow student who is only trying to support himself by helping others.
A local merchant gave this statement to LifeAtStart.com: “I have never hurt anyone by supplying them with a couple sweets and treats, in fact I like to think I am helping them out because I am not overcharging on my product.”
No, we’re not talking about illegal drugs. We’re talking about illegal candy.
For all of you who do not know it, selling anything in school is prohibited. The punishment for selling a bag of pot is the same school punishment as selling a bag of gummy bears.
So why would Start students take the risk?
“I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t have to, but with the price of gas and the cost to have a phone now-a-days you do what you have to do …” one sophomore candy seller said.
A former king pin who has stepped down from what he referred to as the “candy cartel” had this to say: “With all the CPO’s and narcs the work just didn’t seem to be worth the pay off anymore.”
He added: “After having your locker raided it truly changes your views on what crime is worth the time.”
Another Start entrepreneur had a interesting point of view on his reasons for being involved in Start’s candy black market.
“I don’t have to do this. I have a job, but nothing beats the thrill of doing something you’re not suppose to and making a little extra cash on the side.”
After getting a handful of merchants together and discussing their business, every individual agreed that they had to stick together and watch one another’s back.
“We are all like one big family. We need to help each other out and if anyone gets any info on narcs we need to inform each other.”
Another said: “I never knew that selling candy bars and the occasional breakfast burrito would bring a community of teens together like this. It amazes me that we all come together for the same common goal.”