Free Soil reunion organizers will not serve alcohol, but aren’t banning it

June 14, 2013

FREE SOIL – Several MCP readers have commented on a recent story regarding the all school reunion scheduled for Saturday, June 22 at the old Free Soil school complex (see story here). The comments center around whether drinking will be allowed on the school grounds.

A reader warned that if drinking was to take place during the gathering that people have threatened to call the police.

We checked with the reunion committee, the superintendent and the sheriff regarding the matter. All agree that the drug free school zone law no longer applies because it is no longer an active school. Technically, the school district still exists until June 30. At that time the district will be absorbed into the Mason County Eastern School District and the buildings will be donated to the Village of Free Soil.

Sheriff Kim Cole said he has been in contact with the event organizers and the board of education and he sees it as a local ordinance rather than a state law.

“I want to make it clear that if we are called to any incident, anywhere, we will always respond,” Sheriff Cole said. “However, we cannot issue tickets when the law is not being violated. I believe it is up to the board of education to decide about alcohol use policies. We will enforce laws regarding disorderly persons or any other violations of maintaining the peace, however.”

Superintendent Ron Nurnberger and Alumni Association Chairman Phil Keilman agree.

Keilman said the alumni association, which is organizing the event, is not serving any alcohol nor is it encouraging alcohol. “But we are also not disallowing,” he said. “We are serving punch and water and we will be selling pop.”

“By contacting Sheriff Cole, we feel we have done our ‘due diligence’ to make sure everyone has a good time and comes for the purpose of celebrating Free Soil Community Schools,” Superintendent Nurnberger said. “The board of education believes those who attend will act responsibly and will partake of the great venue of activities at their own cognizance. The village of Free Soil has a lot of pride and I don’t foresee any problems.”

Area Churches