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Child Suspended From School For Kombucha In Lunchbox

by Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

The lunch police have struck again.

First, there was the story of a preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School in North Carolina who was given a highly processed, cafeteria lunch containing pink slime chicken nuggets on January 30, 2012 because the school decided that the turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice her mother packed was not nutritious enough.

Now comes the story of an elementary school boy from Newport Beach, California who was suspended from school this week for the kombucha in his lunchbox that school administration said violated the school district’s drug and alcohol policy.

The boy’s mother contacted me 2 days ago the very afternoon her son was suspended in a plea to help her resolve the situation.

The trouble apparently started because the kombucha drink was packed in a glass bottle which is the appropriate container for this healthy, vitamin and probiotic filled beverage. The mother even took care to safely place the glass bottle in a foam sleeve as I’ve demonstrated in my videos which is exactly what I do for my own children so that if the bottle is dropped, it would not break and cause harm. It is important to note that the mother had sent kombucha to school in her son’s lunch many times before with no problem.

Read more: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/child-suspended-from-...

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Kombucha contain alcohol???

I am Japanese.
Normal Kombucha we have in Japan is just a powdered form of Kombu with hot water.
I never heard Kombucha contains alcohol before.
This is the reason it is recommended drink for any age.

What kind of Kombucha do they sell in US and what kind of test did they do at school? It just strange to me.

So I checked..
What you call Kombucha is mistakenly named and it is fermented drink from Russia which totally different from real Kombucha in Japan.

Well, fermented drink is good for health.
If school accept yoghurt, cheese and other fermented foods and products they should accepted this Russian drink too.
I think the problem is just a LUCK OF KNOWLEDGE and no willing to research about what school educators do not understand.
If they have more open minded and willing to learn, those problems never happened.
Small minded people with luck of knowledge never able to teach children as well.

I feel sorry for all the children at school.
This is the reason, I home educate my children.
No silly rules, problems and we do not have to waste our precious time for such a closed mind people.

I am

I am one-million percent for parents being in control of their kids, not the government. And I think school districts are way too controlling. I say this is a parent of three kids. But I would not give my 3 year old kombucha. Yes the alcohol is only 0.5% (can be as high as 1.5%), but that is a bit too high for that age in my opinion. What is a school district supposed to do? A kid has a drink that contains alcohol in it, even if it's a tiny amount? I think there are thousands of cases of a school district overstepping their bounds, but I am not sure this is one of them.

BEFORE you down-vote me read my post again. I simply said I AM NOT SURE if this is a case of a school district overstepping. Let's have a dialogue. You know what I detest about people on the Daily Paul? If you don't agree with them, they slam you and ignore you. I am surprised that people who love liberty are so adverse to entering into rational conversations. I personally would love honest, rational conversations about these issues. I don't pretend to know it all or be right all the time. And I certainly am in no place to impose my will and opinion on others. So....talk to me, tell me why this is an overstepping? :)

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

"What is a school district supposed to do? "

Maybe call the Mother and discuss their concerns with her and not interrogate and threaten an 11 year old over a beverage his mother put in his lunch, that would be a good place to start.

"tell me why this is an overstepping?"

Assuming the Mother's story is true (I think she's telling the truth)

They (the VP AND a uniformed police officer) interrogated a minor (11 year old boy) WITHOUT his parent present or her knowledge- the child was told it was illegal for him to have the drink (not true, maybe aganist school rules but certainly not illegal)and he claims the officer tried to enroll him in AA for kids. There is no way in hell I want my children (12 & 13)interrogated by a police officer without me and/or a lawyer present (even though it's perfectly legal). I urge every parent to train their children to not submit to questioning until Mom and/or Dad are present (the child must request their parent and questioning must stop until the parent is there). Under Zero Tolerance, this kid could've gotten into serious trouble over a vitamin drink that was perfectly legal for him to have outside the building.

Here's the Mom's story:

I recently saw a documentary called The War on Kids (on Netflix streaming) and it was a real eye opener. I don't have children in public school but I was shocked at how these children are treated.

War on Kids

From the Wiki
"The film begins by studying the Zero Tolerance policies in public schools in the 1990s, which were designed to eradicate drugs and weapons at schools. By arbitrary application of this policy via unchecked authority, soon nail clippers, key chains, and aspirin were considered dangerous and violations of the rules. This policy, combined with Columbine-inspired fear, has resulted in kindergartners being suspended for using pointed fingers as guns in games of cops and robbers and students being suspended for having Midol and Alka-Seltzer. This policy has turned schools into Kafka-esque nightmares, absurd and demoralizing. Increasingly, issues once dealt with by the guidance counselor or a trip to the principal’s office are now handled by handcuffs and tasers in the hands of police.[1]

Students are denied basic constitutional rights. They can be searched, drug-tested, forced to incriminate themselves, and capriciously punished. Surveillance cameras, locker searches, and metal detectors are shown to be commonplace. Courts routinely uphold the school’s right to do whatever they choose, creating an atmosphere of fear and loathing, anger and despair. The physical structure of these institutions are themselves oppressive, resembling prisons in many ways, yet even more dreary"

Yep, they overstepped, I say

The alcoholic percentage is comparable to that of fruit juice that's been sitting around for a few hours, or of fresh fruit that's been sitting out. Of course, not everyone knows that, so I can't blame the teachers for acting on the knowledge they did have, but I do blame them for not calling the child's parents. They were in the wrong to not call his mother first, and then wait until the mother was there with her child before asking questions.

"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." -- Thomas Paine

blatant over-reaction, IMHO

Most commercial Kombucha contains less than 0.5% alcohol, which qualifies it as a nonalcoholic beverage. Nothing to worry about. My parents gave me alcohol (small amounts, mind you) when I was 6. I turned out just fine. But then again, I am from Europe, where people don't freak out over alcohol like here in the puritan United States.

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson


My parents gave me wine when I was young, I have no problem doing the same with my kids. But from a school's point of view I can understand why they would ban it. It would kinda of be like sending your high schooler a lunch that contained a non-alcoholic beer. I agree that there is probably nothing to worry about for your kids drinking it, but schools almost all have a zero tolerance policy for any drugs or alcohol. I don't see why that policy is bad. If you are ok with your kids drinking, that is fine, just do it at home? Maybe I'm thinking wrongly about this?

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

Wonder what happens when flu season approaches

Ban alcoholic cough medicine? Unless purchased through officially sanctioned big pharma outlets of course.

Interestingly, OTC medicines can range from 36 proof to 180 proof.

My wife used to work for this

My wife used to work for this school district. I can't say I'm surprised.

0.05% Alcohol. Oh. My. Gawd!

I think that works out to about eight gallons of this beverage to get the alcohol in a standard drink.

It's actually...

It's actually about 0.5% alcohol.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

absolutely insane

thankful for Sarah to keep on top of this folly ....
what foolishness ... parents had better rise up soon

Live Free!

It does contain a trace amount of ethanol

But very little. There's no way you could get intoxicated from it. I chug a bottle of kombucha tea before running.

Kids can't take advil or drink kombucha but Ritalin or Adderal (literally speed/crank whatever you want to call it) is fine?

When I was in France I saw little kids drinking watered down wine. Here, when in our little italy, my italian friends pour an oz or so of wine in a cup and fill up the rest with water on weekends for their kids. I think it's good, removes a stigma, and teaches moderation.

My kids school tried to make me put him on ritalin and I took one to see what would happen to my kid and immediately destroyed the rest. I just lied to the school and told him to tell them he was taking the stuff (at first I just gave him b-12 pills) and suddenly he worked much better. Meaning the teacher thought he was on meds and thought he was doing better. His grades even improved. But no work he did improved.

Didn't hitler use amphetamines himself and on his troops?

This is getting crazy. ID badges on kids, sometimes with RFID chips, no advil, no kombucha but amphetamines are allowed. Kombucha tea is really good for you and will make you feel great. I highly recommend it for you and your children. My ilk doesn't like kombucha, unfortunately. But as long as he eats the healthy lunch I pack, that's okay with me. School lunches are the same garbage fed to prisoners. Literally.

well said

Kids in Europe drink small amounts of alcohol and it's no big deal. This is about exerting control. Kudos to you for throwing out the Ritalin!

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

reedr3v's picture

Statists imagine benign angels will supply all

needs. The reality is that mindless bureaucracy will destroy all beneficial qualities of society.

I guess the grocery store hasn't been told it's unlawful !

I buy kombucha all the time at local grocery stores and delis.

Gwen Kraft

"Personal Liberty & Personal Responsibility" -- Dr. Ron Paul

"A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom." -- Bob Dylan

No, they know

If a drink is 0.5% of less alcohol, it is classified as non-alcoholic. But you are probably right, my guess is that grocery stores don't even know what the stuff is, just that it sells.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson