Energy drinks banned in Manatee schools - FOX 13 News

Energy drinks banned in Manatee schools

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The Manatee County School Board voted Monday night to ban energy drinks in schools across the district.

Teachers say the drinks are making students too jittery to pay attention in class.

The school board says students who are caught with an energy drink on campus will get a warning the first time. But if they continue breaking the rule, they risk disciplinary action.

The drinks have names like Rock Star, Amp, Full Throttle and Monster. They're loaded with caffeine and other stimulants, and kids can't get enough of them.

"They are extremely popular with all the teenagers. That's like, mainly what they drink when they have money, they go after the energy drinks," said16-year-old Samantha Beard. 

"Yeah, I drink them. I mostly drink Monster and Rock Star. Just for the taste of it, I guess," said 14-year-old Kaitlin Gabriel-Manning, who says she has an energy drink nearly everyday.

She's not alone.

"They get me extremely hyper and it lasts throughout the day," says Beard. "If I have a few sips, it won't really do nothing. But if I drink a whole one, then it will have me bouncing off the walls in the classroom."

And that's the problem, according to Manatee County school officials, who say energy drinks are getting kids juiced up and jittery, making it tough, if not impossible, to pay attention in class.  So, they decided to ban the drinks across the district.

"You wouldn't give them beer and cigarettes to take to school! So why would we give them energy drinks, that are full of caffeine?" said Jackie Riordan, who has a child in high school. "I've seen them start doing it on the bus, and as soon as they get off the bus. It's not okay," she said.

Riordan and other parents say it makes sense, even if students seem a little sleepier at the start of the new school year.

"That's going to become a problem, because that's what gets everybody through the day," Beard said.

"I really dread getting out of bed and going to school. So, I drink an energy drink and get hyped up," 17-year-old Robert Reinhardt said.

The school board voted 4-0 to ban the drinks. It takes effect at the start of the school year.

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