A group of South Carolina parents are outraged after their children were suspended from elementary school after being caught with what the school called "happy crack" -- a mixture of Kool-Aid and sugar.
Eagles Nest Elementary School administrators suspended nine students for a reported violation of the school's drug policy when the children were caught buying a white powder, according to WSOC. The powder turned out to be a combination of Kool-Aid drink powder and sugar, a mixture the school referred to as "happy crack," adding that anything that looks like an illegal substance is a violation of the drug policy for schools in Dorchester County School District.
"The way she called me, I thought my son died," said one parent whose son was suspended over the incident. "She said there's this epidemic going on at school with happy crack. I Googled it."
"I'm like Kool-Aid and sugar, are you serious?" she said. "I was appalled. I was floored. I really didn't think it would go to this extreme."
The students were initially set to be expelled from the school, but after a hearing, their expulsion was reduced to a temporary suspension.
"We called the school board, and they expedited the hearing to [Nov. 1]," the mother told WCIV.
Parents of the suspended students said the mixture is as harmless as Pixy Stix, adding that the children had no ill intentions with the candy concoction.
The school pointed out that its drug policy includes a ban on substances that appear to be illegal drugs.
"No student will market or distribute any substance which is represented to be or is substantial similar in color, shape, size or markings of a controlled substance in any of the circumstances listed above," the district's handbook states. "Look-alike substance or substances that mimic the effect of drugs will be treated as illegal substances."
Another parent said the school's handling of the incident was disheartening.
"His intent was not malicious," said the parent. "The other children's intent was not malicious, but they were treated like criminals. They are 10 years old. To go about it the way they did, ostracize the children, call the school board, when I know of other school districts who have had the same issue and those children weren't treated as harshly."
After the hearings, each of the students' punishments have been reduced from expulsion to level one infractions.