December 05, 2003

The dangers of Advil

Is Louisiana in some sort of competition for academic failures and lunatic policies? First there was the valedictorian who couldn't pass a standardized exam; now they're tossing kids out of school for a year for being in possession - of Advil:

A student expelled from Parkway High for a year for having Advil, an over-the-counter pain reliever, will not be allowed to return to the school. Kelly Herpin and daughter Amanda Stiles, a sophomore, appealed the one-year expulsion to a Bossier Parish School Board committee Thursday night, spending about 10 minutes with the board's administrative committee behind closed doors.

The committee and the full board voted unanimously to uphold an administrative decision that Stiles be expelled to the alternative school...

Superintendent Ken Kruithof said after the board meeting that the school system is following a state law that requires a one-year expulsion and being consistent in the system's "zero-tolerance" policy.

But another school official said earlier Thursday that having medication on campus doesn't automatically lead to a one-year expulsion. "After an investigation and a hearing then, if necessary, punishment is administered. It could be no punishment," said Betty McCauley, Bossier schools student services director.

Um, okay. So it's not only an idiotic zero tolerance policy, but it's not actually a zero tolerance policy at all, because Advil could get you expelled, but another medication might lead to no punishment. Have I got that straight?

Herpin considers Stiles an "average student" in both grades and behavior but said Stiles never got in serious enough trouble to warrant an expulsion. Kruithof said Stiles had other disciplinary incidents in the past but said he didn't know if they resulted in suspensions.

The search of Stiles' purse that turned up the medication came after a tip from a teacher about a student smoking at school. Herpin said her daughter was part of a group that was searched in response to the tip.

Were they just looking for something, anything, with which to punish Stiles after not finding cigarettes in her purse? Tobacco would have brought on a suspension, but Advil merits a yearlong expulsion.

You know, I need an Advil after reading stories like this. Good thing I'm not a student anymore.

Posted by kswygert at December 5, 2003 02:42 PM