9-Year-Old Accused of Dealing Cough Drop Drugs

Filed under: In The News

halls defense cough dropsAsk a nine-year-old what drugs are and you are likely to hear things like cigarettes, marijuana, even alcohol. But I think you would be hard-pressed to find a kid - or an adult - who would categorize Vitamin C as a drug. Unless you were Khalin Rivenbark's fourth-grade teacher. The Clay County, Florida teacher has accused the Khalin of not only possessing the Vitamin C drug, but selling it as well.

Khalin had been fighting a cold, so her father put a bag of Halls Defense Vitamin C cough drops in her backpack. When two of Khalin's classmates asked for one of those cough drops at school, she says she handed them over. But her friend insisted on paying her for the drops. "She felt guilty taking the cough drop or whatever, so she gave me a dollar. I didn't want to accept it, but she had me take it," Khalin said.

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That's when things turned ugly. Khalin says her teacher witnessed the transaction and came down hard. "She saw me with the cough drops out and I guess she saw me give it to one of my friends, and then like, 'Oh, I see this good business going on around you,'" Khalin said. "She said, 'You're selling drugs.' (I said) 'No I'm not.'" Khalin and her classmates are now facing possible punishment over the incident.The Clay County Schools handbook addresses the issue of kids taking of prescription and over-the-counter medications at school: "If a student must take a prescription or over-the-counter medication during school hours, it must be received and stored in the original container, and be labeled with the student's name, current date, prescription dosage, frequency of administration and physician's name."

So, the question here is whether or not Halls Defense Vitamin C cough drops are considered an over-the-counter drug. According to a local news reporter, the ingredients in the cough drops are almost identical to those in a Lifesaver candy and do not include menthol. This would seem to indicate, at least to me, that Khalin did nothing wrong and is being unfairly accused of being a drug dealer.

I appreciate the fact that school teachers must make judgment calls on a regular basis. But in this case, it sounds like the teacher rushed in making her judgment.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.