It’s a case that highlights some of the failures of unjust or inadequate student safety policies. A Georgia middle school suspends 6th grader after accidental cannabis consumption. Here’s what happened late last week.
A Questionable Suspension
The entire ordeal started last Friday morning. That’s when an 11-year-old sixth grader named Diamond Brooks said she was given a cookie from a classmate.
Diamond didn’t think anything of it. She happily accepted the cookie and ate it. A short time later, she said she started feeling very confused. Eventually, Diamond was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Reports from local news source WSBTV said that Diamond threw up at the hospital and continued feeling extremely disoriented. When doctors treated her, they discovered marijuana in her system. Now, the family thinks that the cookie Diamond ate at school was actually an edible.
“I didn’t pay attention when I was getting it, so I just got it and ate it,” Diamond said. “If she told me what was in it I never would have got it from her.”
At some point, school authorities learned about the incident and ended up suspending Diamond. The DeKalb County School District said they are investigating the incident while Diamond is suspended.
“The student ingested a dessert, but it cannot confirm if it was laced with a drug,” the county said in a statement. “Our investigation will shed more light on what occurred.”
In the meantime, Diamond’s family is not happy with how the school handled the situation. In particular, they are frustrated that authorities chose to suspend the sixth grader from her middle school even though Diamond maintains that she had no idea what was in the cookie.
“She didn’t know what it was,” Diamond’s father, Gary Brooks, said. “She didn’t intentionally do no drugs.”
He added: “When you spike somebody’s drink, they don’t know, so they are supposed to get punished for what happened? That don’t make sense.”
Final Hit: School Suspends 6th Grader After Accidental Cannabis Consumption
The family said they are pressing the district to reverse its ruling and let Diamond return to school. So far, the suspension remains in place. Additionally, it is unclear whether or not the school has taken any actions regarding the student who allegedly gave Diamond the cookie.
In many ways, the entire incident highlights some of the potential dangers of zero tolerance policies. Rather than providing extra support for Diamond, school authorities ended up making the situation worse by suspending her.
If the Brooks family’s claims are accurate, then the school is essentially punishing Diamond for something she had no idea she was doing. It wouldn’t be hard to argue that instead of punishing her, the school district should have gone out of its way to help her recover from the incident.
All of this also raises questions about children and cannabis. There has already been a lot of concern that edibles may end up unintentionally attracting young kids. This is a common concern among states with legal weed or those considering legalization.
Similarly, anti-weed lawmakers often claim that legalization will cause dangerous increases in the number of teens consuming cannabis.
But research does not support this idea. In fact, studies consistently find that when a state legalizes weed, the numbers of teens who consume cannabis remain more or less the same. In some cases, the numbers actually show slight decreases.
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