Students, especially young children, bring in some of the craziest things to school. Two teachers recently went viral on TikTok after finding a live turtle in one student’s backpack. But the darker side of the spectrum also showcases some horrendous things children bring into classrooms. This was the case for children in a classroom at Grand River Academia in Livonia, Michigan, where one 5-year-old kindergartener brought in alcohol to share with students at snack time.
According to reports from Daily Mail, a 5-year-old kindergartener brought in small bottles of Jose Cuervo margarita mix and handed them out to some classmates during class snack time. The alcohol was shared in Dixie cups and handed out to at least five students. The student allegedly knew that it was alcohol, but handed it out saying it was juice.
With parents outraged, one parent, Dominique Zander, said that her daughter took four to five sips of the drink before she knew what it was. Zander said that the school reached out to her to let her know what happened to her kindergartener, adding that the young child felt “woozy” and “dizzy”. The mother told Fox10 that the child who brought in the alcohol eventually told her daughter what it was. When her daughter approached the teacher to tell her what was really in the cups, she states that the teacher gave her a “funny face.”
Another mother also confirmed the story that the kindergartener actually knew the drink was alcoholic. Alexis Smith told Local 4 News that her daughter also told her the student knew it was liquor. Outraged, the mother pointed out how it is not necessarily wrong for a child at that young age to know what alcohol is, but the fact that they should know not to drink it. Smith also told reporters that she was pulling her kindergartener from the school immediately.
Many parents are demanding the school punishes the kindergartener’s parents for the incident, but it is unknown at this time if any action will be taken. News outlets were able to acquire an official statement from the school surrounding the events, but they failed to say if any action would be taken. “While we try to keep an eye on everything our students bring to school, that’s simply not possible. It’s unfortunate that these types of adult beverages can be easily mistaken for child-friendly drinks.” While it’s arguable that alcoholic brands might need to revamp marketing techniques to clearly package drinks for adults only, the scapegoated statement fails to address a bigger concern, which is why the student’s snack wasn’t first checked by the teacher.
Some parents wonder if the reason the incident occurred in the first place may be related to staff shortages. According to reports from US News, the student-teacher ratio at Grand River Academia is 19:1. If each kindergartener is allowed to bring in their own snack, it might have been hard for a teacher with at least that many students to see everything going on inside a busy classroom.
Regardless of who is at fault, it was a scary situation for parents whose kindergarteners were given alcohol. Alcohol is dangerous to everyone, but more so to young children. According to the National Capital Poison Center, the drink depresses the central nervous system, causing low blood glucose levels. Children who intake alcohol are at higher risk of seizures and comas. Luckily at Grand River Academia, poison control was called in, and no one was harmed.