JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — An incident at Grand Ridge School has prompted Jackson County School Board members to adjust their disciplinary plan.
“This situation there was some kids that brought alcohol to school,” School Board Member Chris Johnson said.
And for that, a few Grand Ridge students could spend 90 days in the Jackson County Alternative School.
But Johnson believes it’s too harsh of a punishment for first-time offenders.
“Being away from their normal peers and their normal friends for 90 days sometimes leads them to catch on with some other friends that they really don’t have any dealings with.”
Johnson said students often go to an alternative school and never return to their original schools.
He requested a special meeting to discuss the policy.
Some principals of schools where upperclassmen and the younger students mix feel very strongly about having zero tolerance for alcohol or drugs on campus.
Malone K-12 School Principal Bryant Hardy says if the disciplinary plan got more lenient, high schoolers’ carelessness could have devastating consequences.
“If they didn’t intentionally give it to them but they left it on the floor whether it was a CBD pen that falls out of their pockets and a kid picks it up not knowing or picks up something a drink, a bottle, thinks it’s a bottle of water or but it’s got something else in there,” Hardy said.
When School Superintendent Steve Benton asked the principals if they agreed students should be expelled 90 days, almost everyone raised their hands.
“It may not be what we want. We don’t want it as parents, we don’t want it as educators. We want them in a classroom<” Marianna K-8 School’s Middle School Principal Ron Mitchell said. “But I don’t want them in a grave either.”
The school board voted 4-1 on making the rules stricter.
Students will be sent to an alternative school for 90 days for their first alcohol or drug offense.
They’ll face expulsion for their second offense.
These disciplinary plans go into effect immediately.