Time to Reconsider the Coffee Policy

by Andrew Holland
Class of 2015

A cup of coffee, brew, joe, or java. Whatever you call it, its history goes as far back as the 10th century and Americans drink 400 million cups of the caffeine laden beverage every day.

When the Braintree High School bell rings signifying the end of homeroom, students are expected to dispose of their coffees. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small black or a large iced caramel swirl with extra cream and sugar; the rules clearly state that coffees shouldn’t be seen in the halls of Braintree High School. After extensive consideration and thought, I conclude that coffee should be a privilege for upperclassmen only.

No Coffee

The high school experience is stressful for everyone. Teachers understand the work load their students must get through. Parents understand when their kids are worn out and buried with assignments along with extracurricular activities and the seemingly endless college admission process. The students, most importantly, understand what it’s like to succeed in high school in 2015. Students must balance rigorous classes and heavy workloads with hours of after school activities such as sports teams, clubs, and theatre. With this is mind, it is reasonable for students, like adults, to look forward to a cup of coffee in the morning hours. As the generation that is known to constantly be ‘on the go’, many of us don’t have time or desire to sit at home sipping our coffee before school.

Coffee will not automatically solve the issue of tired students; but it will certainly help. A cup of coffee during the morning hours could give a tired student the extra energy needed to volunteer an answer or be more attentive during note-taking. Besides the possible positive effects of coffee on how students perform in the classroom, it is a question of responsibility. By the time students reach eleventh and twelfth grade many are driving to school, yet they still can’t drink coffee when they get there. At this time in their lives, students deserve the responsibility of having a caffeine-filled drink to get through the day.

Obviously, such a “responsibility” would require certain limitations. If a student is in a computer or science lab; all coffees should be left at the door. If students are taking any sort of test, they should leave their coffees outside to avoid a possible spill. I am sure most students would have no issue with such rules. It would also take little effort for students and custodians to organize certain ‘clean-up’ stations in the classrooms. A few absorbent paper towels and a spray bottle of soapy water would be enough to clean any potential spills. Students should be given the responsibility to have a coffee and then take care of any spills on their own. Any student who does not clean up a spilt coffee should face repercussions.

Of my five core subject teachers that I see daily, three of them have no problem with students having coffees, and actually feel that we should be allowed to have them. Besides the physical effect coffee has on students, which could help improve their performance, this argument begs the question of whether or not by age sixteen one should be allowed to decide if they want to drink something besides water in school.

Andrew Holland is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition