5th graders' suspension over nasal spray lifted

Parents of the Sycamore Elementary School students told Channel 2 Action News they had received calls from Principal Amy Bryan to inform them their girls can return to school Wednesday, with conditions.

The parents were told that two days of the four-day suspension will be erased at the end of the school year if there are no other major disciplinary problems. If there is another incident, the girls will keep the two days on their record, Channel 2 reported.

Tanthia Reid, the mother of one of the children suspended, told Channel 2 that her daughter, who suffers from allergies, used her best friend's eye drops and a prescription nasal spray Friday.

The prescription Nasonex nasal spray belonged to Marita Ballard-Murphey, the mother of the girl who took it to school. "She didn't look at Nasonex as an illegal drug to have in school," Ballard-Murphy told Channel 2.

A teacher found the girls with the medication during recess. The fifth-graders were sent home Friday.

The school district's policy is that parents must arrange with the school clinic to have prescription drugs administered. Students also are not allowed to share prescriptions.

Gwinnett schools spokesman Jorge Quintana would not confirm the type of disciplinary action taken but confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution it was still in effect Tuesday.

“Having prescription medication and sharing it is not only against the law but against school rules,”  Quintana said.

While both parents agreed that the students broke school rules, Ballard-Murphy and Reid said the punishments didn’t fit the infractions. One girl had perfect attendance and the other was an A and B student.

"Send a message, but not to this extreme," Reid said.

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