Suspended for look-alike drugs: Student suspended after bringing Vitamin C to school
Marathon junior Wyatt Hatfield is out of school, because it's a school conference day. For three days last month he was out of school, because he was suspended.
"I found it quite ridiculous that I was being suspended for dietary supplements," says Wyatt.
He left Vitamin C, olive leaf extract and echinacea on the bus in his lunch bag in plastic bags on October 13th. The Hatfield family says it was found by a bus driver and then turned over to the school. The district says students can't possess look-alike drugs. Superintendent of Schools Rebecca Stone says medication needs to be approved by a parent and doctor and kept in the nurses office. Wyatt and his family says they wern't aware of the policy. The superintendent says this has been in place for years.
"If there is anything that you are consuming as far as a medication. It has to be in the original container," says Stone.
The Hatfield family says their doctor told them to boost their immune systems with supplements. Wyatt's father, Glen, needed to stay healthy for a surgery to remove his brain tumor. If he got sick, the surgery would be postponed. He had been taking them for a week during lunch before he was suspended.
The suspension was upheld after the Hatfields appealed to the board of education in Marathon. Now, they plan to appeal Wyatt's suspension to the State Commissioner of Education.
"I just don't feel that something like this should be on my son's record," says Glen.
Stone says other districts have similar policies. With questions such as, "were the police involved," or "was there a conversation with the family" being wondered, the district won't discuss any specifics of the incident.
"It's improper for any school administrator or teacher to talk about any student to other people," says Stone.
After graduation Wyatt wants to serve in the U.S. Army. His mother, Samantha, says a suspension on his record could impact his future.
"It's really getting foolish about what we're doing to students. We're not talking about elementary students, we're talking high school," says Samantha.
The Hatfields want changes to be made to the districts policy, so another family doesn't end up in the same situation.