An innocent sugar mixture known among kids as “happy crack” is hardly a controlled substance, but a Dorchester County, South Carolina school is treating it as such.
And parents are not happy.
As ABC News 4 reports, nine students at Eagles Nest Elementary School were suspended for violating the school's drug policy. These nine students were in possession of “happy crack,” which is a mixture of sugar and Kool-Aid.
Even though the “happy crack” is nothing more than an instant sugar rush, it still goes against school policy. Administrators explain:
“No student will market or distribute any substance which is represented to be or is substantial similar in color, shape, size or markings of a controlled substance in any of the circumstances listed above. Look-alike substance or substances that mimic the effect of drugs will be treated as illegal substances.”
One mom whose son was one of the nine suspended, tells ABC News 4 that she had never heard of “happy crack” until she was alerted of the disciplinary action being taken against her son:
“The way she called me, I thought my son died. She said there's this epidemic going on at school with happy crack. I Googled it. I'm like Kool-Aid and sugar, are you serious? I was appalled. I was floored. I really didn't think it would go to this extreme.”
She argues that her son's actions — buying and possessing the “happy crack” — had no malicious intent; in fact, he had no idea he was doing something wrong. The mother is outraged that her son and the other students are being treated like “criminals.”
Because their violation was considered a “level three offense” in the school district, the nine students faced expulsion. At their hearing, though, school officials decided to knock it down to a level one offense. As a result, the students were put on probation.
Even still, the mom believes it could have been handed in a different way:
“They are ten years old. To go about it the way they did, ostracize the children, call the school board, when I know of other school districts who have had the same issue and those children weren't treated as harshly.”
This isn't the first time “happy crack” has been an issue in schools. In May 2006, fourteen students were suspended from a Pennsylvania elementary school in relation to the sugar and Kool-Aid substance. School officials justified the suspension by arguing that the students were “imitating drug activity.”
And just last year, a middle school student was suspended for five days for “selling” the “happy crack” to a fellow classmate. Her mother said that the suspension goes against the very purpose for her daughter being in school:
“We want to encourage our kids to go to school, to better themselves... She's out of school for five days, she's not getting an education because she had some sugar in her pocket.”
In most of these cases, the parents admitted that they had no idea of their child's school policy regarding the offense.