With a blanket of snow covering the ground this week, school children may be tempted to hurl a snowball or two.
But Harrison County students should think twice before forming that powdery ball, because they can face disciplinary action of up to five days of suspension, depending on the severity of the incident, school officials said.
Throwing snowballs is a Level ! offense under the county's discipline policy, which allows administrators various punishment options, according to South Harrison High School Principal Jerry McKeen.
School officials can issue detention, withdraw privileges or give one-to-five days of in-school or out-of-school suspension, McKeen said.
"We don't really have a problem because the students know the policy and they know that it is grounds for discipline action," he said.
John Babyak, county administrative assistant for elementary schools, said there haven't been many occurrences of snowball snipers.
"We used to get a lot more, but now most of the kids are on the bus or in cars and aren't walking to school," he said. "We prohibit snowballing. We just don't allow it."
When there are incidents, most principals say they issue a warning at first and deal with each situation based on the circumstances. For example, a student hitting someone in the face with a snowball compared to just throwing a snowball into the air would be handled differently, said Norwood Elementary School Principal Phil Brown.
"We have very few problems with snowballs but it does have to be dealt with, because it can cause some real damage if they accidentally got a rock in it," he said.
Staff writer Jennifer Biller can be reached at 626-1449 or email@example.com.