'Happy Crack' Leads To Several School Suspensions

By McCarton Ackerman 11/09/16

A South Carolina elementary school suspended nine students for possessing an unlikely substance.

'Happy Crack' Leads To Several School Suspensions

A new substance called “happy crack” has made its way into one South Carolina elementary school, leading concerned administrators to suspend several students for possessing it.

The problem? The concoction is nothing more than a mixture of sugar and Kool-Aid powder mix.

Parents at Eagle Nest Elementary School in Dorchester County were outraged after the sugary treat led to the suspension of nine students. School officials told ABC News 4 that the offenses have since been reduced to level-one infractions and the students have returned to school. But many believe the punishments shouldn’t even have been up for consideration.

"The way she called me, I thought my son died," said the mother of one of the children who were suspended. "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? I was appalled. I was floored. I really didn't think it would go to this extreme."

But the school district’s office says the administrators were simply doing their job. According to school officials, possessing anything that resembles an illegal substance, even if it’s not illegal, is a violation of school policy. They say that under South Carolina law, this is a level-three offense and is even classified as criminal conduct.

But the parents said their kids thought they were buying what amounted to a pixie stick, and felt administrators should have used common sense in this situation.

“They were treated like criminals. They are ten years old,” said one parent. “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."

As outlandish as it may seem, this isn’t the first time a school has overreacted over happy crack. Last year, News 5 Cleveland reported that about a dozen students at Akros Middle School in Akron, Ohio, were suspended for possessing it.

“She broke a rule? Yes, discipline her. But this is extreme,” said Erika Yarborough, whose daughter was suspended for five days from the middle school for possessing happy crack. “We want to encourage our kids to go to school to better themselves. This is petty. She’s out of school for five days, she's not getting an education because she had some sugar in her pocket.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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