Norton High School Coffee Policy Should be Revised

Letter sent in from Norton High School student Neeve MacGregor as a journalism assignment.

Dear Kelly,

I am writing to you about a rule that I see a need for change in. I decided to publish this letter in the patch to attempt to gain support from readers in order to try and change this rule at the . Out of all the rules in Norton High School, I personally find the most frustrating to be that we are not allowed to bring coffee into school in the mornings. Although coffee can be messy, I have noticed that students trying to hide coffee from teachers become clumsier and more accident prone with their coffee than they would be if they were allowed to simply place it on their desks. Coffee spills can easily be cleaned with water but to prevent spills in general a new school rule could be put in place to prevent spills in general. Any student who spilled a coffee or made any mess could receive a detention. This would ensure that students cleaned up after themselves and would cut down on messes without getting rid of coffee all together.

In my experience from working at , I have seen what large amounts of money kids spend on coffee. To then tell these kids they must throw away the coffee they just bought and barely got to drink is absurd. Students, even those who work regularly, do not have disposable income so although spending $2.56 on a coffee may not seem like a big deal, it is. Some teachers allow students to stand in the lobby and finish their coffee before class as long as they are not late. Drinking large quantities of coffee in three minutes or less can literally make students, or anyone in general, sick to their stomach. I speak from experience. Coffee is also known to cause muscle cramps if drank quickly. This is very unhealthy. Although allowing us to drink in the lobby may save us money, it does not save our stomachs.

The seemingly simple solution to this problem would be to not bring or sneak coffee into school.  This rule would work if it was enforced school-wide. If we did not see nearly every teacher sipping their coffee first period we might be more motivated and inclined to not bring ours into the school. Teachers do not want to give up this rule and neither do we. The school must either allow everyone to drink coffee or ban it to all people within the high school building. The chugging, wasting of money, and inequality needs to stop.


Neeve MacGregor

Student of Norton High School

Trot Nixon September 29, 2011 at 01:39 PM
You're very brave in writting this...however I feel like your efforts will be in vain, considering chocolate milk is banned in schools now, I would be VERY surprised if they bend for coffee. When I went to NHS (not to long ago) they banned water and gatorade in the classroom, I mean water and gatorade c'mon. Luckily we had sensible teachers who saw how dumb that rule was and let us drink it anyways. My feeling is if your an 18 year old senior and you can sign up for the army, you should be allowed to drink coffee
Beth McManus September 29, 2011 at 04:29 PM
Neeve, May I first say "Bravo!" I love to see students stand up for their beliefs and voice their concerns. You are not just someone that sits there and complains. You do something about it. That is why I ran for School Committee I was under the impression that no drinks were allowed into the classrooms not just coffee. I agree with Deniz. bring this to the proper authority. Your first step would be to speak with Mr. Dewar and voice your concern. You have nothing to lose. Not sure where I stand on this...I have found there are always reasons for the rules that are made. You should be proud of yourself. Nice job & well written. Keep fighting for what you believe in! Maybe we will see you someday in the political arena :) Beth McManus Norton School Committee Chair
Holly DeLano September 29, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Nice to see my neighbor expressing herself in a thoughtful, intelligent way:) Good luck, Neeve!! I remember a couple of years ago when my son was needing hydration during the day having to write a note so he could keep his WATER with him!! THEN having to get a doctors note, ridiculous!! While I don't think there necessarily needs to be an equal rule kids/teachers, I think that you have a right, certainly, to ask for some consideration. I've always told my kids it never hurts to ask:))))
Brittany Anteski September 29, 2011 at 04:37 PM
First off, if you can't spell well right don't put and imput. Neeve isn't talking about illegal drugs like meth. It's coffee. Teachers drink it why can't we? No one wants to wake up at 5 am when most of us are up until 2 am doing homework just for coffee. It's harmless, coffee isn't alcohol. Just because we are not the " bad ass" teacher who can bend the rules doesn't mean we should suck it up and get over it. I understand the "mess" is a hassel, but that's the janitors job. We arent smoking crack in the bathroom, we are just drinking coffee to wake us up a little bit because we have to be to school at the butt crack of dawn. -Brittany Anteski
Andy Heller September 29, 2011 at 04:46 PM
Everyone knows there's an easy path from coffee to cocaine......Seriously, why not just mandate that coffee must be in a "commuter mug" device with a latched lid? Maybe have cupholders installed into the desks? Think of ways to do things, not ways to ban them.


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