POYNETTE (WKOW) -- A school district's athletic booster club's ties to a planned beer tent following a homecoming football game concerns parents and others.
"We are investigating," Poynette Schools Superintendent Barb Wolfe said.
Poynette trustees have approved a fundraising street dance with a band and beer tent at a community park following Poynette High's Sept. 24 homecoming football game against Columbus. The street dance event is proposed by The Poynette Athletic Booster Club.
School parent R. J. Lurquin, who is also a Dane County Sheriff's Lieutenant, said having a school-affiliated group sponsor the serving of alcohol on homecoming sends the wrong message to students and the community.
"When we say, 'Go out to homecoming, enjoy the festivities but be smart and don't use alcohol,' but on the other side of the coin, a district-sponsored club is sponsoring an alcohol-related event, I think it sends a terrible message to our students."
Booster Club President Bob Odegaard said the beer tent is being run by the owners of a local tavern and is simply alternative entertainment for adults, with teens involved in other homecoming activities. The approved beer tent will include age screening and security personnel.
"This is no different than a street dance at the park earlier this summer where we sold food, and there was a beer tent."
Coordinator Tim Belleau of the alcohol prevention coalition Columbia County Connects objected to the planned September beer tent event's tie to youth sports.
"The event is in direct contrast to the teaching of the DARE program and any good health class curriculum."
In a letter to Lurquin, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Prevention Team Director Steve Fernan wrote the planned beer tent does not appear to violate state law banning the sale of alcohol beverages on school property without special permission.
"(But) The concern about the 'mixed messages' remain," Fernan wrote.
Community members will ask school board members to review the booster club's affiliation with the planned alcohol sales.
Online reporting by Tony Galli