Alcohol on Campus Prompts Policy Change

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Students at Greenwood High School are no longer allowed to bring water bottles to class. That's after the school says some kids were bringing in more than just water.

"The last two weeks we have had alcohol-related incidents where kids have brought alcohol in clear bottles," explained Principal Jerry Efurd. "We've had to suspend several kids"

Those suspensions have led to a change in the school's water bottle policy. Students at Greenwood used to be allowed to carry water bottles openly during all school hours. Now, kids have to keep their water bottles in their lockers or in their bag, only drinking from them between classes or at lunch. Students also aren't allowed to share water bottles any more, Efurd said.

"Were not going to just pass the water bottles around and we're not going to have a water bottle on every desk," Efurd said.

The reason behind the change in policy came as a surprise to some parents.

"Very surprised at that," Jeff Jones said. "This is a great school, we've got great teachers, we've got great administrators, so that's really surprising to me."

Others said kids were just being kids.

"You know we're all young once," Cheryl Marvin said. "I would've never thought of doing anything like that. But today, there are all different ways of doing things and get around things so it doesn't really surprise me."

All parents that 5NEWS talked with said they were disappointed that the actions of a few students changed the water bottle policy for the entire student body.

"Yes, but at the same time I can understand," Marvin said. "I just want all of the kids to be responsible and safe and I mean so I understand where they're coming from. I'm not upset about it, it's just sad for the ones that didn't do anything."

"Most of us were in high school at one time and these kinds of things happen," Jones said. "I have great confidence that our administration will deal with this in a really positive way."

The school became more lenient with their water bottle policy this past year to better accommodate students during the hot months, according to Efurd. However, he said that after students abused the new policy, the school has decided to hold them accountable.

"We have taken their privilege away to openly exchange them and openly carry them," Efurd said. "Just put [the water bottles] in your duffel bag. When you need it you can drink from it."

School officials say water fountains are available throughout the campus, and added that water bottles can be purchased at lunch.

The new policy is effective immediately.