Look-alike drugs almost earn students a "zero"

By Layron Livingston - bio - email

Talk about learning the hard way. Two Jacksonville Middle School students turned in a project about drugs, and end up suspended for three days.

It seems the message was good, just not the way they presented it. The ironic twist to the story is that the project for an ethics class about making good decisions.

Jacksonville Middle schooler, Bryn Dosser said she and her classmate just wanted to do a good job. So along with explaining the effects of drugs like marijuana, cocaine and meth, they used household products to show what the drugs look like.

Well, the problem was that they used real medication, both over-the-counter, and other drugs from the medicine cabinet, to stand in for the drug, LSD. The district says that should not have happened.

"You're supposed to be out there learning and teaching stuff, but when you suspend somebody, you're not learning nothing," said Dosser.

"It's not like she tried to sell anything, hide anything," said Dana Davenport, Bryn's mother. "She did this for a project. I think it could have been handled just so much differently."

In its code of conduct, Jacksonville ISD prohibits bringing "look-alike" drugs, or items that could be passed off as drugs, including non-prescription drugs and other meds unless they're allowed by the district.

The district says no written guidelines were provided for the project, but in this case, the district says the two girls knew the "real drugs" were a "no-no" in advance. That's why they were suspended.

Warning letters were also sent home to 12 other students who used "look-alike" products for their projects.

School administrators said that Dosser and her partner will be getting credit for their assignment.