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Child interrogated, suspended from public school for having kombucha tea in lunchbox

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: kombucha tea, lunchbox, school suspension

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(NaturalNews) A Southern California mother was shocked to learn recently that her elementary-age son was pulled out of school, interrogated by police, and threatened with five days of suspension for bringing into the school's cafeteria the kombucha tea she packed for him in his lunch box. Sarah Pope of the Healthy Home Economist reports that the young boy was ultimately vindicated of his non-crime of bringing kombucha to school, but only after the boy's mother contacted Pope to explain the issue, which she brought attention to recently on her blog.

An advocate of traditional foods and a Chapter Leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation, Pope explains in a recent blog posting that the young boy got into trouble when school officials at the Newport-Mesa Unified School District learned that he had kombucha tea stored in a typical glass container in his lunch box. Even though the bottle was safely tucked into a protective foam sleeve by the boy's mother to avoid breakage, school administrators apparently took issue with the fact that it was glass, and decided to confiscate it.

The next morning, the boy was called into the Vice Principal's office where he was interrogated by administrators about the contents of the beverage and where he got it. According to Pope's account of the incident, an on-site police officer specifically tasked with handling school district matters was called into the office as well, where he proceeded to tell the boy that kombucha is "illegal," and that it could be "very dangerous" if he drinks it in conjunction with pharmaceutical drugs.

School officials try to enroll student in alcoholics class for drinking kombucha

Besides having been forced to spend nearly his entire day in the Vice Principal's office being badgered, the young boy was also told that he may have to be transferred to another school for bringing kombucha to school, and the Vice Principal even reportedly tried to enroll him in an alcoholics class for teenagers -- kombucha tea can sometimes contain trace levels of alcohol due to fermentation. But the icing on the cake was when school administrators told the boy he would have to be suspended from school for five days due to allegedly violating the school's drug and alcohol policy.

At no point throughout the ridiculous fiasco did school officials ever once attempt to verify the contents of the kombucha bottle, nor did they bother testing it to see whether or not their outrageous claims of its alcohol held any merit. Instead, they basically went into panic mode right from the start and proceeded to make irrational accusations and take inappropriate disciplinary actions, all without contacting the child's parents or giving him an adequate opportunity to properly defend himself against the attack.

After learning about the incident, Pope says she called the school to talk to the Vice Principal, who quickly backtracked and tried to claim that the situation was minor and had already been resolved, and that the unjustified suspension had already been lifted. A subsequent school district rebuttal, which was sent to Pope the day after her initial blog post on the incident was published, also tried to backtrack on the matter and spin it for the purpose of damage control.

You can read the school's rebuttal here: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com

You can also read the full account of the incident as published by Sarah Pope at Healthy Home Economist here: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com

Sources for this article include:

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com

http://nmusd.ca.schoolloop.com/news/view?id=1346923706097

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