BRADENTON, FL – Florida's Manatee County School Board has voted unanimously to ban energy drinks in the county's schools.
School officials say the high sugar and caffeine content of energy drinks make students too restless to concentrate in class. On average, each 16-fl.oz. can has more than 14 teaspoons of sugar and 200mg. of caffeine, equivalent to about three cups of coffee, officials claim.
"We know a significant number of students who have increased energy followed by decreased energy can have agitation. Caffeine affects how the brain works," said Joe Stokes, director of elementary schools for Manatee School District.
The drinks will no longer be allowed in vending machines, cafeterias or school stores, and students will not be allowed to bring them from home, beginning this school year.
Students will receive a warning if they violate the policy and will be suspended if they are caught a second time.
There are 42,000 students in the Manatee County School District, which is in the South Tampa Bay region.