Every morning, North Augusta High School students wear their school-approved clothes, put on their school-approved ID’s, and come to school with their school-approved materials. However, in the recent news of school policies, students might also want to grab a school-approved water bottle. That is, if they plan on getting thirsty.
Beginning in November, North Augusta High School announced that in the classroom students are only allowed to have clear, screw-top bottles, specifically made for water. While most students refer to this as the new water bottle policy, assistant principal Mrs. Johnston pointed out that this policy is actually not a new policy at all. In the school handbook it states that students are required to refrain from, “Eating or drinking in the classroom, halls, or main building courtyards”. Many students are surprised by this. Jake Nelson confessed, “I thought it was a ‘whatever the teacher would tolerate’ kind of thing”. This is a valid since teachers are inconsistent on what to consider “school-approved”.
Another common misconception is that the policy is being enforced because of students bringing concealed alcohol to school. This is a big part of it, but a larger portion comes from students having any other type of drinks other than water. Students spilling these types of drinks can lead sticky floors and class disruptions. Still, not all students think this that big of a deal. Jonathan Gunn said, “I have seen drinks get spilled in the classrooms, but the teachers had stuff to clean it up with, and the students responsible were willing to take care of it”. So maybe another solution to this could be to require teachers to have cleaning materials. Of course, not everyone believes the “power of Lysol” is enough to withstand the power of a messy high school student. Mr. Bornscheuer says, “We have had problems with garbage and spilled sugar drinks attracting roaches and the pest control folks have asked that we take a more active stance”.
It is clear that a lot of students don’t like this policy, but students should remember that this policy is just as annoying for the coffee-sipping teacher who has to enforce it. It’s true that this policy is unfortunate, but unless students are dropping in the hallways from dehydration, this policy is, overall, reasonable and here to stay. Already, groups like the Environmental Club are working to improve the effects by working to create “refill stations”, which is more environmentally friendly than students who don’t recycle their water bottles. In the end, students and teachers can work together to improve the quality of our school by keeping it clean.