HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Eighth-Grader's Family Fights Suspension Over Pill Mistake
Pubdate: Tue, 07 Dec 2004
Source: Oklahoman, The (OK)
Copyright: 2004 The Oklahoma Publishing Co.
Author: Ken Raymond and Sarah Kahne
Cited: American Civil Liberties Union
Bookmark: (Students - United States)


MUSTANG - Parents of an eighth-grade Mustang Middle School student
suspended for one year for possessing prescription drugs filed an
appeal Monday with the school district. NEWS 9 report

Chloe Smith, 14, was kicked out of school Friday when drug dogs "hit"
on her locker. Administrators found prescription hormones in her purse
and enforced the school's zero-tolerance drug policy, said her mother,
Nancy Smith.

Nancy Smith and her fiance, Maxi Barber, said Monday they have asked
for assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of
their daughter.

"I don't think it's fair for her or any other student to be treated
like this," Nancy Smith said. "She's being treated like a drug addict
when she has a medical condition she's going to have for the rest of
her life."

Nancy Smith said her daughter must take three different types of
hormones to treat polycystic ovarian disease. She said her daughter
must take the medications at certain times each day and forgot to take
the pills out of her purse after a family outing Thursday evening.

ACLU is aware of case Michael Camfield, development director for
Oklahoma's ACLU, said Monday that he was aware of the situation in

"We are concerned about the allegations in Mustang," Camfield said.
"The next step for us is to get more information about the situation."

School officials said the district's drug policy is clear.

"When students enroll, we give them a handbook and go over it with
them," Superintendent Karl Springer said, "and they sign for the
handbook and acknowledge that they understand what it says. Mustang
schools has a very intolerant view toward drug use."

Nancy Smith said the hormones her daughter takes aren't controlled
drugs and don't have any "mind-altering" effect when taken.

Assistant Superintendent Bonnie Lightfoot said Monday she couldn't
comment on the specifics of Chloe Smith's case, but said any
suspension that was being appealed would be in an investigation stage.

Springer said required medications are supposed to be distributed
through the office, and students may not be in possession of even
over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin.

Chloe Smith's suspension could be reduced to 10 days if she agrees to
eight hours of mandatory drug counseling and monthly urinalysis
screening -- a step the family is reluctant to take.

"I'm not going to let her admit that she has a drug problem that'll be
on her record permanently when she hasn't done anything other than be
a forgetful kid," Barber said.

Springer said such information would not be entered into any student's

Nancy Smith said she wouldn't object to her daughter's being punished
for having the prescription drugs at school, but she's against
allowing the school district to label her daughter an illegal drug

"Why can't these people just act like they have common sense and are
smarter than these kids?" Barber asked.
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