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Lorain middle school student suspended after she was falsely accused of having drugs

Posted at 10:48 AM, Nov 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-10 10:48:00-05

A Lorain middle school student is dealing with the repercussions of a school suspension after she was falsely accused of having drugs.

It was just like any other day for eighth-grader Autumn Ciotti.

She was enjoying a box of Milk Duds during lunch at Southview Middle School in Lorain when she said her friend asked her to share.

"She smelled the box or ate a couple and she said it smelled like weed and that's when she told everyone else to try it," Autumn said.

A school security officer took the candy and sent her to the principal's office after he also claimed it smelled liked marijuana, Autumn said.

"They searched me, took me to my locker and searched my locker," Autumn said.

When Autumn's mom, Shannon Ciotti arrived just a few hours later, Autumn had already been suspended.

"If it was that immediate to where you suspended my daughter, for an expulsion hearing, why wasn't a K-9 called? Why wasn't poison control called?" Ciotti said.

Ciotti followed up with Lorain police for lab results.

After a few weeks, Ciotti picked up a letter that showed there were no drugs in the candy. She also reached out to Hershey's the company who makes Milk Duds. They ran their own tests with the same results.

"There was nothing there but candy," Ciotti said. "Absolutely nothing."

Autumn was out of school for 21 days.

"I went to counseling about it, I had to talk to someone about it, about how I was feeling and I cried a lot," Autumn said.

She's back in class now, but Ciotti says her family was never given an explanation, let alone an apology.

"Nobody's even called me to tell me that the results are negative. Nobody," she said. "They thought that because I am a lower income single parent, that I would just lay back and do nothing about it."

We've reached out to the Lorain Schools several times, but they have not responded.

Autumn says because of her absences, she failed the first quarter and has not been allowed to make up her work.