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Mother: Son's suspension for drug possession 'a bit much'

Staff writer

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Kelly Cook believes her 13-year-old son should be disciplined for “horsing around” in the school cafeteria.

But a 10-day suspension she said he received for possession of drugs — in this case Smarties candy, is a little much. Her son is being accused of grinding up and snorting the candy powder on Wednesday, she said.

“My son did not inhale or snort any of the candy, he was blowing it at other students,” Cook said. “I believe he should have been disciplined for acting out. But now we’re concerned that the suspension is going to put him behind in his classes and that this might end up on his permanent record and say that he’s a drug user.”

A fact-finding hearing with Clovis school officials is scheduled for Tuesday.

Cook plans on attending the hearing to tell her side of the issue.

“I’m going to let them know that this is a bit much,” Cook said. “They should make kids aware that this is not healthy and they’re using it in a bad way. The school system should educate and inform before they punish.”

According to a letter from the school provided by Cook, “the purpose of his hearing will be to hear testimony and decide remedies concerning the possession of drugs/Smarties by (the student) on the grounds and in the building at Marshall Middle School.”

The letter also stated “the school will present all the facts gathered in the case with a recommendation for remedies.”

Possible remedies include short-term suspension, long-term suspension or expulsion.

A YouTube search produced videos of children, high school students to even a disk jockey snorting Smarties.

But Laura Orvidas, a pediatric ear, nose and throat doctor at the Mayo Clinic Children's Center, told USA Today there is no high to be obtained from the act.

“You cannot get high from snorting Smarties,” Orvidas said in the USA Today article posted last year. “Although people are saying that you could get maggots from it, it’s a very unlikely scenario. The more likely scenario associated with snorting the candy is getting the powder into the lungs, leading to an asthma attack or long-term breathing problems.”

Cook, says her son is still trying to understand exactly what he was suspended for.

“My son is a confused boy right now,” Cook said. “He doesn’t understand what happened, he knows he was wrong for horsing around and admitted that.”