Akros Middle School, a charter school in Akron, has released a statement after several students were suspended for distributing or being in possession of “happy crack,” a mix of Kool-Aid and sugar.
Chris Perin, treasurer for the school, said the students violated the following policy: "Possession, use or distribution of any substance represented to be a drug or alcohol."
The girl's mother, Erika Yarborough, said her daughter traded school coupons to another student for the mixture.
"It's not a drug. If it was Tylenol and she was like, 'Hey, give me this for that,' that's a drug. Sugar is sugar. Food is food. I don't care how you take it and twist. It's food," Yarborough said.
After Sibley was called into the head office, it became clear what she had in a baggie wasn’t crack or cocaine, but a mixture of sugar and powder.
Sibley was suspended for five days. Yarborough felt the punishment handed down by the principal didn’t fit the crime.
"She made it sound like it was a drug transaction. She really made it sound like they were exchanging drugs. I'm like, 'I think you're blowing it out of proportion,'" Yarborough added.
Yarborough has since pulled her daughter from the charter school and enrolled her in a school in the Akron Public School District.
The school treasurer said eight students were suspended, including some that were given more time away from the school than Sibley.
The statement from the school released Thursday said:
Like all schools, Akros has a strong interest in promoting a positive, anti-drug culture for its students, and violations of school policies are addressed consistently through its established code of conduct. The goal has never been to withhold a Free Appropriate Public Education; rather (as stated prior), to cultivate an environment where all who are in attendance feel safe and can be receptive to learning.
The policy being enforced:
"Possession, use or distribution of any substance represented to be a drug or alcohol"
The hope is to partner with our parents (even in regard to discipline issues) to provide an opportunity to learn from mistakes as a student before they suffer more permanent consequences as an adult.
- Chris Perin
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