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POLL: Indiana school district defends plan to allow alcohol on school grounds

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LEBANON, Ind. (Oct. 14, 2014) -- A plan to serve alcohol on school grounds has drawn criticism from the community, but a local district is defending the decision.

This year, Lebanon Community School Corporation opened a convention space that it added onto the front of the high school in partnership with the city. It's renting the space out for private events and functions.

Under new policies that the school board will vote on next week, certain events outside school hours would provide the option through a catering company to bring in beer and wine.

"I think if you don’t understand the situation, your first thought is, they’re serving alcohol at school. That’s not the case," Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor said.

Instead, Taylor said policies would only allow the service at events outside school hours and not at any time students are present at the school. You would need to apply for a license for each individual event, and the alcohol would not be stored at the school - it would need to be removed immediately after an event.

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Still, residents FOX59 spoke to expressed concern with the idea.

"I just don’t think it’s right to do that in the school," resident Mary Harvey said.

"People have their own rights as to what they want to do personally, but I don’t feel that we need to have (alcohol) at every place we go," resident Richard Shouse said.

Taylor said he's only received a few calls from concerned parents and that he believes heavy guidelines and security at the site will help. All doors into the convention area are locked, preventing students from entering it at any time.

"I can tell you that if and when it is available that it doesn't come anywhere close to students or to educational activities," Taylor said.

He also said that the center provides a space desperately needed in Boone County and that it's a partnership between the city, community and district he's proud to support.

The school board will vote on the policy at its meeting next Tuesday. However, Taylor said the site has already hosted one event with beer and wine, citing no issues.