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Student Suspended for Carrying Aspirin at School

Student Suspended for Carrying Aspirin at School



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Alex Cabrero reporting A mother is upset after she says her daughter was suspended from school for having aspirin in her pocket.

The mother says the school cited its zero tolerance policy toward drugs. But when it comes to zero tolerance, should there be a difference between an over-the-counter drug like aspirin and an illegal substance?

We all understand why schools have zero tolerance policies. They have to protect students from guns and drugs.

That's why Lakeridge Junior High School in Orem has its policy in place, but one mother says in her daughters case, it's gone way too far.

Samantha Jenkins and her friends are like any other teenagers-- nothing wrong with watching TV on a Friday night.

For Jenkins, it's a relief. The questions she's been facing at school lately have been a little... tricky.

Samantha Jenkins/ Student, Lakeridge Junior High School: "Are you a drug dealer? No. I even had friends get mad at me, and we're not even friends anymore."

In 9th grade, reputation is everything. That's why her mother is fighting back against the school.

Kristin Schroeder/ Samantha's Mother: "The claim they made was ridiculous."

Two weeks ago, during her lunch break at Lakeridge Junior High School in Orem, Jenkins was called to the principal's office.

Samantha Jenkins: "They told me 'We heard you've been dealing drugs.' And I said 'What are you talking about? I've never even seen drugs."

But Jenkins did have drugs on her. Aspirin.

Samantha Jenkins: "I gave it to them and I said 'I have three aspirin in my pocket.' And they said 'Well, we're going to have to search your backpack and everything.'"

Jenkins says when they didn't find anything, they called her mother and suspended her for three days.

Kristin Schroeder: "She was totally bawling."

"She had been accused of all this stuff and treated like a common criminal."

We spoke to Lakeridge principal Jim McCoy. He said he couldn't comment on the school's zero tolerance polcy, or this particular case. Instead, he referred us to Dr. John Childs with the Alpine School District. When we spoke to Dr. Childs on the phone, he too said he wouldn't comment, but only because he wasn't aware of the this case.

Kristin Schroeder: "I've left messages and haven't received a response."

Now, Jenkins' mother just hopes the suspension isn't on her daughter's records. Getting into college, after being suspended for drugs, could also be tricky.

Kristin Schroeder: "There has to be a certain amount of compassion and common sense."

Samantha Jenkins: "I didn't know you couldn't have aspirin on school grounds."

Jenkins served her suspension, and is now back at school.

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