Third-Grader Suspended For Turning Alcohol in to School Officials
Posted October 25, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
SPRING LAKE — We warn our children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol hoping they will listen. A Cumberland County third grader thought she was doing the right thing. When an older student gave her alcohol, she turned it over to a teacher. Now she is the one in trouble.
Under her school's code of conduct, what the third grader did was wrong. But under the circumstances, you have to wonder if the punishment is appropriate.
Third grader Biancia Green is suspended from Lillian Black Elementary School for five days. She is in trouble because of what she did after a friend gave her a plastic 12-ounce Coke bottle on the school bus. The bottle was filled with wine.
"I said what is it? And I tasted it and found out it was liquor. So I kept it in my book bag and I took it home. The next day I went back to school and gave it to my teacher," says Biancia.
Biancia says she was too scared to tell her mother, but when she brought the bottle back to school, she was suspended.
"I feel as though she did the right thing," says Sarah Green, Biancia's mother. "She should be commended because she turned the alcohol in to her teacher. It's not like she brought it to school, and was passing it around or trying to get other kids to drink it. She turned the alcohol in to her teacher because she was scared to turn it in to me."
School administrators say they could not talk about the the 8-year-old's situation citing federal privacy laws. They did say the school code of conduct states that any student bringing alcohol to school can be suspended for five or more days.
"I would ask them, [I'd] say 'What if it was marijuana or a gun? Would she get in trouble for that?' She was turning it in," says Green.
Biancia's mother says her daughter gets good grades and does not cause trouble. When the third grader brought her suspension notice home, she was also given a slip of paper stating she will receive an academic award on Thursday. She is suspended until Friday.
Biancia admits she should have told her mother about the alcohol first, but she wonders why she had to be suspended from school.
"I've got a little bit to do with it, but I don't think I've got that much to do with it because I didn't bring it to school . The only thing I did was taste it and it was liquor."
Sarah Green is appealing her daughter's suspension, but the process could take several weeks.