The high school girl expelled for carrying Advil in her purse may get a second chance. The Bossier, Louisiana school board finally decided to check with an attorney about the state law, the one they thought mandated one-year expulsion for any drug, including legal, over-the-counter pills.
Mandatory expulsion is the same penalty state law requires for students caught with illegal or prescription drugs. But the state law outlining student discipline is silent on nonprescription medication.
“It (school discipline law) talks about possessing or the intent to distribute any illegal or narcotic drug,” said Gary Reed, the state Department of Education’s legislative affairs consultant. “But if you talk about a kid bringing something to school that’s nonprescription, it’s not a controlled, dangerous substance. When you talk about that, that’s kind of a gray area of over-the-counter medications.”
It doesn’t seem gray to me.
State law does say students should turn in prescription and nonprescription medicine to school officials, who can dispense it only with a doctor’s OK. Just imagine how many times a girl turns in her Advil and a school clerk calls the girl’s doctor to see if she’s allowed to take Advil. That’s a great use of everyone’s time, or would be if anyone ever turned in aspirin to the office.
Anyhow, the school board is meeting tonight to rethink the expulsion policy. Or to think about it for the first time.
Update: A sophomore at an Alabama high school was suspended for one month for taking a Motrin for menstrual cramps. The principal explained the girl might have given a Motrin to another girl who might have been allergic and the school might have been sued.