Zero Tolerance

School Board Bans Chapstick: Gateway Drug to What … Maybe Burt's Bees Lip Balm?



The extent of idiotic zero-tolerance policies in public schools is almost unbelievable. Now comes this new example from Augusta County schools in Virginia—banning chapstick. As the News Virginian reports:

An 11-year-old Stuarts Draft Elementary School student has collected petition signatures and officially asked the county school board to allow elementary students to use Chapstick.

Stuarts Draft fifth-grader Grace Karaffa appeared before the school board Thursday night, saying she had requested the substance while on the playground after suffering chapped lips.

"I was told I couldn't use it. Then later that day they (lips) started to bleed so I asked for Chapstick again and I was told that it was against the school policy for elementary kids to have Chapstick," Grace said.

Grace asked the school board to change its policy. "Chapstick allows the human body to heal the lips themselves and protects them in any weather from drying out," she said. She concluded her speech by saying, "Please school board, allow us to have Chapstick." 

The response?

George Earhart, the assistant superintendent for administration with the Augusta County Schools, said Chapstick is considered an over-the-counter medication by the school board. The board has a policy regarding such medicines. He said Chapstick could be allowed if a physician asked for a student to use it, and it was administered by a school nurse.

Earhart said one of the reasons for the policy is concerns about elementary students sharing medications. He said the student's request was taken under advisement by the school board.

The whole school board must devote a second's thought to this "issue"? Amazing. Lesson of the day: Bureaucracy turns adults into Epsilon-minus Semi-Morons.

Addendum: For more moral panic face-palming, see my colleague Katherine Mangu-Ward's amazing post, "Beezin: The Awesome New Fake Teen Drug Panic Involving Lipbalm and Eyelids."

Accompanying spoof video, "Social Media Helping Teens Get High Off Burt's Bees Lip Balm: 'Beezin' Trend Can Cause Pink Eye-Like Symptoms." Seriously folks?!