A Florida elementary school accused a 9-year-old student of selling drugs for sharing cough drops with friends.
Officials at Patterson Elementary School in Clay County decided, however, not to discipline Khalin Rivenbark, who met with the girl and her father Wednesday.
The accusation arose one day earlier when the child got into trouble after her father put some Halls Defense Vitamin C cough drops in her school bag when she was recovering from a cold, she
told Jacksonville’s WJXT-TV
She later shared some with friends.
“[A teacher] saw me with the cough drops out and I guess she saw me give it to one of my friends, and then like, ‘Oh, I see this good business going on around you,'” Khalin told the station.
“She said, ‘You’re selling drugs.’ (I said) ‘No, I’m not.'”
The 9-year-old said one of her friends gave her $1 for the cough drop.
Her father, Andy Rivenbark, told the station, “It’s absolutely crazy.”
The student said the cough drops were in her bag, and two friends asked for one, so she handed them out. One friend insisted on paying.
“She felt guilty taking the cough drop or whatever, so she gave me a dollar. I didn’t want to accept it, but she had me take it,” Khalin told the Jacksonville TV station.
The student handbook for Clay County Schools says, “If a student must take a prescription or over-the-counter medication during school hours, it must be received and stored in the original container, and be labeled with the student’s name, current date, prescription dosage, frequency of administration and physician’s name.”
But WJXT reporter Diane Cho questioned whether the Halls cough drops qualify as a drug, since the ingredients were nearly the same as Lifesavers candy.
Andy Rivenbark said he didn’t get a note or call from school administrators about the incident.
“It’s definitely detrimental to somebody who we teach the whole time growing up, ‘don’t use drugs because drugs are bad.’ To accuse her, it’s unnecessary to make a comment like that,” Rivenbark said.
The report said the meeting included an admonition from school officials for the child not to bring cough drops again.
WND reported several years ago on a case in which a student was expelled for a year for having Advil in her purse.
The case involved sophomore Amanda Stiles, who was expelled from Parkway High School in Shreveport, La., after a teacher searched her purse because she was suspected of being among a group of students smoking cigarettes on school grounds, the Shreveport Times reported.
The punishment was affirmed by the school board.
Stiles said she carried the over-the-counter medicine because of frequent headaches, but the Bossier Parish School District maintains it followed a state law barring drugs on campus and its own “zero-tolerance” policy.
“I just never thought about the fact that I could be searched,” Stiles said, according to the Shreveport paper. “I think we’re old enough to know how many [pills] we can take without overdosing or being in danger.”