“No ill will”

Administration clarifies response to concerns about Chick-fil-A food carts at school events


Paige Rodriguez

Parked on the track, the Chick-fil-A vendor makes its first reappearance at the game against Lake Oswego, after an accident kept it from being present at two consecutive home games.

Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) club’s Oct. 30 Instagram post began conversations about the appropriateness of a vendor present at home football games. The comment section of the post served as grounds for students to debate the morals of Chick-fil-A as an organization, the implications of the company earning a profit on school grounds, and instances of homophobia at school and in the greater community. 

Athletic director Mark Horak addressed those concerns on behalf of the administration. “West Linn High School does not have an agenda by bringing in Chick-fil-A,” he said. “There was absolutely no ill intent. There was absolutely no ill will by anyone.”

The controversial restaurant has had a food truck present at home football games since the first game of the season, as per a contract signed between the Chick-fil-A vendor and the football booster club. The contract is to last through the rest of the season, playoffs included.

Originally, the Chick-fil-A food truck was parked outside of the stadium, next to the 700 building, because it could not fit through the gates and onto the track.  However, after appearing at the first game, the food truck was in an automobile accident, causing it to miss the second and third home games. For the fourth home game against Lake Oswego, the truck was replaced with a smaller van, which was able to fit through the gates, and therefore was located on the track. However, as concerns arose, Horak elected to move the vendor to its original location, outside of the stadium next to the 700 building, for the fifth home game against Oregon City.

“I did not want it in the presence of the stadium,” Horak said. “I wanted [so that if] people wanted to have a sandwich, they could walk down, [and] it was out of view of the stands on either side.”

The controversy around the vendor’s presence sparked immediate conversation within school decision-makers about how to move forward. 

“We talked to the boosters, we talked to the administration, we actually got school lawyers involved to determine what our plan of action could be,” Horak said. “Based on everything, we felt that we also needed to fulfill the contract.”

In the school administration’s eyes, the conversation was bigger than Chick-fil-A and football games. This particular incident sparked discussion about businesses being present at school events.  

“We started thinking about Unity day, we started thinking about Homecoming,” Horak said. “We’ve started the process with our district office so that we will have a process for how we determine what vendors are coming in.” 

Horak has but one request for students and community members going forward. “I just want everyone to get along and be kind,” he said.