Those who do not eat beef jerky may not be aware that one type of shredded jerky is being sold in a container that resembles chewing tobacco tins. Though the container clearly states that the contents are "jerky," three middle school students were suspended for having the jerky because it is a "look-alike drug."
When one student was found to have been storing real tobacco in the tin can, three other students were also found to be carrying the tins but they were filled with real jerky and not tobacco.
Though the students were not actually doing anything wrong by carrying around a snack, they were reprimanded for it and sent home. The one who was carrying the tin with tobacco was suspended.
Niles Ring Lardner Middle School, in Michigan, bans all weapons, look-alike weapons, drugs and look-alike drugs. The principal of the school, Doug Langmeyer, believed the tin jerky cans closely resembled tobacco enough to be considered a look-alike.
The jerky, in a shredded form, is packaged in small plastic containers. It looks different, smells different and feels different from tobacco, but school officials want to ban it.
One father is confused as to why his child was punished for carrying around a snack.
Langmeyer said he could have taken it one step further by suspending the kids with look-alike tobacco jerky, but decided to simply send the boys home instead.
The students are concerned the incident will be written up on their permanent record, but Langmeyer said that it will not.