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# Allow us to bring outside drinks to school

As of last year, we were told that we are not allowed to bring our own drinks into school. Some people were upset that they couldn't bring their Starbucks coffee or Sonic sodas, but a lot of us were also concerned because we can no longer bring our own water. When we asked for alternatives that we could use to get water, they told us that the school offers water bottles and has water fountains. Using these as a water source for the day is completely illogical.

First of all, using a water fountain will simply be a disruption in the classroom. The average young adult needs about 48-64 ounces of water a day; almost a gallon. We spend around eight of our most likely fifteen waking hours at school. This means that over 50% of our day is spent at school. Therefore, we should all be drinking at least 24-32 ounces of water at school. I have no idea how many trips to the water fountain that would be, but I know that it would be a lot. Students want to be able to get to class and stay in class without having to get up and down. They would have to constantly be disrupting the teacher during instruction time, and it would undoubtedly take time out of the day if the teacher had to bring everyone in the class to the water fountain several times throughout the class. Plus, if students brought in empty bottles and filled them with water, there would still be no way for the administration to discern whether they got it inside or outside (setting aside the fact that water fountains are very unsanitary).

Secondly, it is not affordable and almost heinous to expect students to buy one or two water bottles a day (which would amount to 16-32 ounces of water). Let us assume that students drink the 48-64 ounces of water a day. That would mean that they have to buy one or two bottles of water at school every day. Now, let us also assume that a bottle of water is \$1.50 (which may be inflated or deflated, but the price would likely be around \$1). With 180 days in the school year, that would be \$270-\$540 worth of water bottles which are also not environmentally friendly and I was told that Lake Ridge High School does not have a recycling service. Additionally, this would be costly to those who receive free or reduced meals. About 27% of Lake Ridge students are on free and reduced meals and there are around 2,085 students in the school. This means that approximately 562 or 1/4 of Lake Ridge Students are on free or reduced meals. This population can definitely not afford to purchase drinks every day. Even so, someone who is not on free and reduced meals, like myself, brings their own lunch and saves a lot of money for their family that cannot be forked over to \$270-\$540 worth of water bottles every year.

The reason for this rule was because in the past there have been problems with a few people disguising clear alcohols in water bottles. I agree that this is an incredibly wrong thing to do, but it is a vast minority. Because these few students threatened their own health and safety by bringing and drinking alcohol at school, the school decided to make a rule that threatens all of our health by making it difficult for us to drink water in the place where we spend half of our waking hours. It is like in elementary school when one student causes trouble in the classroom and then the whole class is not allowed to go outside for recess. We are all being punished for no fault of our own.

For people like me, it is even more important to drink water. I am on a medication that requires me to drink 64 ounces of water a day. If I do not, then it is possible that I could end up with serious liver problems among others. Drinking water is important. Drinking water should be inexpensive and not disruptive. If students who bring alcohol to school really want to drink alcohol at school then they will find a way. They will hide it in their backpacks or drink it in the bathroom because they are already deviant, so this behavior will continue regardless of rules. They already have broken one, who is to say they will not break another?

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