COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A local mother says she's outraged over the 10-day suspension her son got after his own prescription medication fell out of his pocket in class.
Investigative reporter Aaron Diamant says every district in the state has strict drug policies, and strict punishments for breaking them. But the mother of a student at Smitha Middle School in Cobb County says this time it was the district that went too far.
"I was highly upset, because my son has never been in trouble at school at all," says Tanisha Richardson. “This is wrong. This is so wrong in so many ways."
Eighth-grader Iyan Goodson got thrown out of Smitha Middle this week after the marked pill bottle with the important attention deficit disorder medication prescribed by his doctor came out of his pocket in class.
"Some fell out because I guess it wasn't fully on. Some fell out. I had it out, but the teacher wanted me to give it to her. So, I gave it to her and she walked and came back and it wasn't in her hands," said Iyan Goodson.
Then, Goodson and his mom got the news he couldn't come back until early September.
"Yeah, I was worried, but I was confused at the same time," Richardson said.
Richardson says Goodson only had the bottle with him that day because of a sleepover at a friend's house. And while she understands now that that may have violated the district's controlled substance policy, she called the out-of-school suspension too heavy-handed.
"Ten days is not appropriate. I will accept it in-school suspension or detention. I would have accepted that," Richardson said.
She now worries the punishment will set her son back.
"A very big impact, because now he's missing days of stuff that he's going to be learning and need for the rest of the year that he's going to have to go back and figure out how to do," she said.
A Cobb County School district official sent a statement in part:
"This type of drug, even if it is a prescribed medication, is an extremely dangerous substance. If a student were to ingest too much of this drug, or hand it out to other students, the health consequences could be very serious or even fatal. That is why the policy is as severe as it is."
District officials say all medications must be dispensed by the school nurse.