Public schools

Kombucha Brouhaha at School Leads to Policy Evaluation

Everybody panicked about boy with home-brewed tea


The Newport-Mesa Unified School District will re-examine its disciplinary practices – and its hard-line policy against alcohol – after an 11-year-old student brought a bottle of kombucha tea containing a tiny amount of alcohol to school.

The boy, a seventh-grader at Ensign Intermediate School in Newport Beach, originally got in hot water for having a glass bottle in his lunchbox on Oct. 9. School officials noticed that the label on the bottle of fermented tea said it contained less than 0.5 percent alcohol by volume. District policy states that anyone who possesses products with even trace amounts of alcohol could be subject to discipline.