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Mr. Will’s Thoughts on the Clear Water Bottle Mandate

Is An Unregulated Law Still a Law?
Susan Hyde
The members of the debate; me, Shawn Divine, Peighton Pittenger, Natalie Yargus, Daylen Beckes, and Adriana Taylor

On August 31st in English III, my class was assigned a debate topic; for or against the mandate of only clear water bottles that are only filled at school. We searched the handbook for the rule, and after reading what it had to say, me and my classmates asked Mr. Will about the rule. He said the rule exists as a safety procedure because some students abused the ability to bring in other drinks in opaque bottles. He said that while he would love for us to be able to support local businesses like Ginger Ale’s, he wants to encourage healthy habits, such as drinking water, and that Ginger Ale’s cups are distracting. My next question was why it wasn’t in the handbook.

If you’ve read the handbook (I inserted a link at the bottom), you’d know that it is never stated in the handbook. Mr. Will was unaware and said that it’s his fault. He then said that it is more of a suggestion, despite previous claims from school officials that it was mandated and enforced.

Next I asked students, former students, teachers, and community members their thoughts;

“When I found out it was not in the handbook, I was upset because the teachers told me I was supposed to bring an empty water bottle and fill it at the fountain.”-Anonymous Student

“It’s a tough situation. I can see why they want it clear-then again, vodka is clear. But they probably want to make sure it’s water.”-Faith Bennett, Former Student

“I think it’s important that we have clear containers for safety, and appropriate beverages only.”-Anonymous Teacher

“My thoughts on the rule is that I can understand why they’d have the rule; it prevents students from bringing in things they shouldn’t bring in, like alcohol or other things. On the same token, it’s hard to find clear water bottles that keep things really cold. Another thing I have problems with is only allowing them to be filled at school. If you’re a bus student and have a long bus ride you might want a drink of water before you get there. As for saying it’s in the handbook when it isn’t, I think the staff needs to review the handbook a little more carefully and know what they’re talking about.”-Jean Duffield, Grandmother of Two Students

“Well, I don’t really see any problem with clear water bottles so you can make sure it’s a clear liquid, but unless a teacher is willing to open up the bottle and smell it, there’s no way of making sure it’s not clear alcohol. If the water bottle is deemed to be unfit due to phrases or imagery, the student could be told not to use that water bottle, but if it’s a plain water bottle or thermos, I don’t think there should be an issue.”-Timothy Duffield, Former Student and Parent of Student and Former Student

“If it’s not in the handbook, I’m kinda upset. It should be in the handbook; if not, they’re just making stuff up as they go on.”-Anonymous Community Member

“Well, I guess if it’s the rules; you’re asking someone who when I went to school we weren’t allowed to have water bottles. You have a lot more privileges then we did. We didn’t have air conditioning except in the computers, and only in there for the computers. I feel like you guys should feel fortunate to have water bottles in the classroom.”-Maria Bantican Garrard, Former Student

Then we have one anonymous former student who had quite a bit to say;

“I do agree that the principal should know what the rules are. I personally feel that it shouldn’t matter what the water bottle’s color is. I feel like it’s kind of a sheltering kind of thing; for example, on a college campus, they don’t let you have alcohol but they don’t care if you have soda or water. Even though yes, college students are adults, aren’t we teaching teenagers how to be adults? Teenagers are being taught how to function as adults. Teenage years are the training years for adulthood. I feel like in high school there are a lot of rules that don’t make sense, because once you get to college, those rules don’t exist, and then you wonder why those rules were there in the first place…I do think it’s better for people to drink water because it’s a healthy habit, but even without clear water bottles, students can still drink water.”-Anonymous Former Student

At other points in the conversation, they also brought up water bottles being used for self-expression and the fact that you shouldn’t punish all students for the actions of a few.

For journalistic integrity, I admit that a couple of these quotees are of relation to me (i,e. neighbors, parents, grandparents, or siblings), but their opinions were requested to be what they think, not what they think I think — an easy request since I myself have no opinion on the subject of the clear water bottle mandate.

This is the Palestine Handbook.

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About the Contributor
Alix Bennett, Author
Hi! My name's Alix Bennett, and I like frogs (hence the frog hat🐸). I am currently a high school student here at Palestine High School as well as a dual credit student at LTC, and a summer volunteer at George Rogers Clark National Historic Park. I want to be an ecologist, as well as a writer and artist on the side. My favorite artist is Pidgin Dolls, and my favorite musicians are Penelope Scott, cavetown, and Skydxddy. I'm a Neopagan, which means my religion is based on natural cycles and the spirits thereof. My pronouns are She/Her. I'm a huge Pokemon and DnD fan, and I love learning about all kinds of things, such as frogs, insects, mushrooms, frogs, plants, geology, frogs, space, history, frogs, and other subjects. And also frogs. I like frogs. I want to be needlessly kind. If people can needlessly hate strangers, I can needlessly love strangers.

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