Greenfield - An offhand remark, tied to Clayton Anderson's proposal for a disc golf course near Whitnall High School, concerning the 5.4-acre nature pod raise some alarm this week among School Board members.
The Whitnall senior made a remark about student drinking on the site as he presented his disc golf plan Monday night.
Board member Quin Brunette was shocked. Saying that the statement needs to be confirmed and if it's true something done about it, he asked that the matter be placed on the board's next agenda.
"If it's a problem, we need to address it quickly," Brunette said.
But member Bernard Shaw said the board should be careful not to overreact. If there is misbehavior in the nature pod, it may not be Whitnall students, he suggested.
Although seniors have release rights so they can leave the building, school officials haven't heard from police of any kind of problem, Shaw said, who speculated that Clayton may have been relating a rumor that got embellished.
That's a theory shared by Superintendent Lowell Holtz, who noted that with some young people, if something happens a couple of times, it gets blown up as happening all the time.
"We don't have kids slipping out during the school day," Holtz said flatly on Tuesday. "There's not an ongoing problem."
Kids who have been drinking during school would come back to class exhibiting signs of drinking that teachers would detect, he said, adding "We have very observant teachers."
In addition, because the nature pod is right across from school, teachers or the police liaison officer in the school would likely have seen something, Holtz said.
However, the open tract has attracted interest from those who want to stay under authorities' radar. On Aug. 3, two 19-year-old men were ticketed for growing nine marijuana plants there. The plants were discovered by accident by an off-duty Milwaukee police officer playing with a rocket with his son, Greenfield Police Capt. Jay Johnson said.
But outside of that, police have had extremely few reports of problems in the nature pod, Johnson said. Police respond, even to the point of posting a squad there, but have detected no misbehavior, he added, and the police liaison officer hasn't reported problems, either.
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