Student who lent inhaler faces expulsion hearing

I heard about this today, and couldn’t believe it. I found this link:

Now what apparently happened is that they went to see the school nurse because his girlfriend wasn’t feeling well. She was having an asthma attack and he let her use his inhaler. He did this in front of the school nurse and

For an inhaler? The justification is

However, consider this

Bolding mine. They share the same prescription. Also, this second link goes into a little more detail about what happened

But yeah, when you see someone suffering, and you know that you can do something about it, I guess it’s better to do nothing because of the schools very wise “Zero Tolerance” policy :rolleyes: .
Yes, in the schools defense, apparently he tried giving his inhaler to someone else one time before (it’s in both links) who didn’t seem to need it, and that’s one thing, but punishing him for giving it to his girlfriend who, apparently needed it…
All I can say is, I’m glad I’m not in school any more.

Zero tolerance = zero intelligence. If he is being prosecuted under the law, then the law is an ass.

That’s ridiculous. All kinds of things potentially have adverse side effects, including water, if used improperly. The same goes for many OTC drugs, including ones meant for treating asthma attacks, such as Primatene Mist. Would they have prosecuted him if his girlfriend had an asthma attack and ended up in the hospital, or worse?

I swear, sometimes I think there is no common sense left in this country.

For this kid’s sake, I hope they don’t find any multivitamins or (God forbid) OTC allergy medicine in his possesion any time soon. He could get life!

You can sure say that again.
I wish that there would be an audit at schools with zero drug and zero weapons policies, and that the teachers, principals, and other school workers would get busted for the same kind of asinine things that the students get busted for. I’d love to hear about a teacher getting sent home because she had a bottle of Tylenol in her purse, or the shop teacher getting suspended because of all the dangerous tools he has in his class that could be used as weapons (think of how much damage a drill could do to someone. Hell, even a sander could cause some damage.)
If the teachers and administrators had to put up with the same bs they put their students through, I wonder how long “zero tolerance” would last.

I always figured that with stories like these, revealing the absurdity of zero tolerance policies, that they would go away. Boy was I wrong about that. It looks like they’re here to stay.

Nah, he’s in high school. If anything, they’ll probably find Viagra :smiley:

As a commentator on NPR remarked, parents overwhelmingly support zero-tolerance policies until they are affected by them. Unfortunately it is often too late by that time.

There aren’t enough rolleyes smilies in the world for this.

Reminds me of when I was in college and one of my - err - more adventurous buddies asked if he could try my inhaler. To see if he could get any buzz off it. He was disappointed.

It’s Texas. :slight_smile:

If convicted, I wonder if the kid will get life for saving a life?

This is just one more proof (as if any were needed) that zero tolerance policies are designed not so much to protect students from harm as to protect teachers and administrators from having to use judgment and (assuming the possibility–and it’s a stretch) intelligence. It’s a wonder that students are being educated at all, since they have to be in constant fear of being expelled for carrying a nail file or showing compassion. Sheesh! :rolleyes:

Lock me up! While you are at it lock my wife up too…
We both use Albuterol for asthema. On several occasions we have used each others inhalers. We are guilty as charged. Hell we have even allowed friends and family members use our inhalers when they are sick or are having breathing problems.

Hey, if there is a no tolerence policy against that shouldn’t we be affected to? Or does this only apply to high school students who’s lives could be destroyed?

It seems idiotic to equate the medical ingredient in an inhaler with recreational drugs. It seems idiotic to equate ordinary over-the-counter pain relievers, allergy remidies, etc. with recreational drugs. Recreational drugs that have been outlawed for everyone are one thing. Inhalers and OTC remedies are another thing. Can’t these school administrators perceive the difference?

And why do we keep hearing about kids getting suspended or expelled for things like having a teen gun-shaped item on a keychain, or drawing a picture of a gun, or pointing a finger and saying, “bang! you’re dead!”? If these things are not urban legends, what is wrong with school administrators? Do they think that a symbol for a thing, or a representation of a thing IS the thing? Wouldn’t such a belief indicate mental illness or subnormal intelligence?

Oops. That was supposed to be “a teeny gun-shaped item”. I used the phrase because I can’t see calling anything that small a toy gun. Toy guns are generally gun-sized or close to it.

It only applies to K-12 students because, as we all know, they can’t be trusted and half to be dealt with harshly for anything that even seems the least bit suspicious. I mean, today he’s sharing his inhaler, but If they school didn’t nip this in the bud, then to tomorrow he could be sharing crack with his girlfriend, or worse.

These policies aren’t for the kids, they’re for the school staff and administrators to make them look good and to cover their asses. They exist so the a principal can say something to the effect of “My school is safe. There’s no chance of another Columbine happening here, because if one our students even so much as points his finger at another student and says ‘bang’, we’ll be all over his ass, and he’ll be expelled so quick it’ll make his head spin.”
Then the parents can cheer and say “Wow, what a wonderful school our kids go to, it’s so safe.”
Then everybody’s happy until a kid gets suspended, and only then do the parents start questioning the zero tolerance policies.

Honesty is a very important virtue, and obeying the rule of law is as well. That being said, I believe wise authority figures understand that sometimes they are not the most important thing. What would have happened had that nurse not reported what she saw? What? I wouldn’t have. Later, if called on it, my response would have been along the lines of, “What are you talking about? He lent his inhaler to her? I don’t recall that at all. Did it happen when my back was turned? Hmm.”

This reminds me of an Andy Griffith espisode. There’s a stretch of highway in the county where the stated speed limit is such that trucks would not be able to make it around a turn and up a short hill unless they “cheated” a little with how fast they were going. It is only an issue for trucks. Andy recognizes that common sense must prevail, and the unwritten rule for trucks is that they can cheat a little. Barney, OTOH, starts issuing tickets. “The law is the law, Andy!” The world is filled with Barney Fifes, including the nurse who reported this.

Mr. Armadillo’s response to my tirade against “zero tolerance” policies in schools is that it’s not about drug control, it’s the school covering their own asses against a lawsuit from a parent who’s kid was given a medication without their permission, particularly if that kid had an adverse reaction to said medication. He also agrees that it’s rediculous, and the kid’s parents ought to sue the school system, as this felony charge could affect the kid for the rest of his life.

In a semi-related anecdote, my (two years younger) sister called me one day in tears because she was forced to undergo a drug search. As a high school senior she was afforded the privilege of driving her car to school and parking on campus, in the alloted senior parking lot. Everyone else could drive to school if they posessed a drivers’ license and a car, but had to park off-campus, meaning, across the street. This was an extremely small school–eighteen people in my own senior class–so all the seniors get to pick their own parking space at the beginning of the year and decorate them with paint. So since the other students cannot park on campus, the narcotics officers and drug sniffing dogs are not allowed to search their cars, however, the senior cars, on campus, were subjected to search by drug sniffing dogs and cops.
Now, let me remind you, this is a very, very small high school in a very rural area, surrounded by farmland. There is a little gang activity but only by bored, wanna-be kids, acting tough in the abscence of real diversions. There are recreational drugs being used, but no more than anywhere else and it’s certainly not an epidemic or anything. There aren’t even any kids on ritalin.
Anyway, back to my story. Average, normal school day, and my sister is in English class. Suddenly there’s a bunch of whispering and noses pressed up against the window, as there’s a bunch of cops on campus with a big, drug-sniffing GSD. They go around and check out the lockers, don’t find anything, and proceed to the senior parking lot. At this point, the kids in her class were all crowded up against the window, watching the proceedings.
They get to my sister’s car, and the dog alerts, sitting next to the passenger side door and barking. The principal pulls her out of class and takes her out to the car. She is now surrounded by several cops, the dog, her principal, and being watched by all of her classmates.
The principal asks “so, Jenny, is there anything in your car we might be concerned about?” Now, my sister is the most law-abiding, cutie-pie cheerleader sort you can imagine. She said “… No, there is not.” They ask her to open her car for search and she says she’d rather not. The principal and cops then lay it on her, pressuring her and accusing her of being a drug user and dealer and saying that she needs to open her car for a thorough search, right now.
Now, instead of going the proper route and saying “fuck you, call my parents,” she, being basically law-abiding, unaware of her rights, and inimidated beyond belief, unlocks her car and allows the dog to search. Dog sniffs the car and alerts on the glove box. They open it, and out falls, amongst other things, several maxi-pads (she’s absolutely mortified) and a bottle of ibuprofen, in an unmarked pill bottle. Dog alerts on the ibuprofen. The cops immediately go “AH-HA, we have you now, lawbreaker.” They open the pill bottle and shake out a bunch of IBU 400 pills. Note: my dad is a veterinarian and we kept a large jar of 400 mg ibuprofen in the bathroom cabinet, for headaches and menstrual cramps. They get up in her face and demand to know what the pills are. She says “dog ibuprofen.” They don’t believe her. The principal forces her to open the trunk for search, where the dog doesn’t find a damn thing.
They call my parents and proceed to tell them that a drug dog found a suspicious substance in my sister’s possession. My dad asks what it was. They say white pills with IBU 400 printed on them. My dad says “it’s ibuprofen, you moron” and proceeds to chew out the principal for the above situation. They threaten to suspend her. My dad threatens to pull her out of school and file a lawsuit. They apologize.

I dunno about you all, but when we get around to having kids, and they get to be school age, I’m going to make damn sure they know what their rights are in terms of search laws, and that they need to call me fucking immediately if anything like this were to happen to them. No way in hell I’m letting my kid get bullied and humiliated by authority figures, simply because they’re kids and should be expected to be pushed around and insulted and taken advantage of.

Sorry, accidentally submitted before preview, thus the pre-edit rambling was not intended for public view, and would have been cleaned up and pared down, had I not clicked “submit” instead.

Anyway, the point is that there is no legitimate reason for those drug searches at my former high school in the first place. There is no drug epidemic, no kids dying of overdoses, no use of ecstasy or heroin or anything really heinous, just a little pot-smoking here and there. The administration wants to look good to the parents (look how tough we are!) and bully the kids.

And now I’m ranting and hijacking the thread. Sorry.

My sister also has extremely bad asthma. Her school is a twenty minute drive from the nearest hospital. If she forgot her inhalor or it ran out and she had a major attack, she could die before the ambulance arrived. There is no school nurse and no policy for storing medications with the administration. I would hope to god someone would share their albuterol.