Michigan parents are outraged at their children’s school administrators and the guardians of a kindergartener who brought alcohol to school and distributed it to her tiny classmates.
One mom, whose daughter was “a little woozy,” said, “it shouldn’t have happened.”
On Thursday, April 14, school officials at the Grand River Academy in the Detroit suburb of Livonia called the parents of students in one of the school’s kindergarten classes to report that their children had been exposed to an adult beverage while on their watch.
One student, who remains unnamed because of her young age, allegedly brought a single-serving, premixed bottle of Jose Cuervo margaritas to class and gave Dixie cup portions to four of her classmates during snack time.
Teachers say the child brought the drink from home and carried it to the school in her bookbag, before sharing the tequila with her friends. The children originally thought the drink was juice before being informed it was a harder drink.
Dominique Zander’s daughter was one of the children compromised by the little girl’s mischievous act. She said when she took her daughter to the principal and asked her how she felt, the child said, “She felt woozy, a little dizzy.”
The mom says, “the girl poured it in her cup, and she drank it and the girl ended up telling her what it is, and she went and told the teacher there is liquor in this cup, and the teacher gave her a funny face.”
A Jose Cuervo ready-to-go mixed drink has a 10 percent alcohol content and could have been dangerous for the children.
According to Poison.org, large consumption of alcohol in children could be fatal. In addition to reaching out to the parents, the school administrators called poison control to make sure the children were all right.
Alexis Smith’s 5-year-old daughter was also misled to drink the margarita, saying she only had about four or five sips.
Smith said she had a “small conversation” with her daughter about the incident and was told, “the girl knew it was liquor.”
WDIV reports the mom saying, “It was so many thoughts running through my mind like, oh my God, you know. What if it was open before the girl brought it to school, how much was it.”
The parent said when the school called her, she wanted answers.
“I asked her like, ‘Is my daughter OK?’ and she said, ‘She’s right here and she looks OK.” Smith shared. “And then I said, ‘OK, well, how much did she drink?”
The principal was unable to tell the mother how much her daughter drank, but said in a letter to parents, “school leadership followed proper medical protocols, and parents of the students involved were contacted immediately.”
“Disciplinary measures will be taken in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct,” it continued before adding, “Student privacy laws prevent me from sharing specific details.”
In a statement to the press, the school said, “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.”
The mother said she picked her child up from school before dismissal, a day before the school was closed for the Easter holiday, and kept her child home on Monday, April 18.
Smith said she’s sorry that this stole a day from her daughter’s academic calendar, adding to other complications of the school year.
“It’s so heartbreaking. I feel like her first year of kindergarten was already cut short because of COVID, and situations like this just made it worse.”
She also was clear about how inappropriate the incident was, “No kid should be drinking.”
“If your child knows what it [alcohol] is, nothing wrong with it, but they should know not to touch it. That it’s not for kids.”
The school said none of the children was harmed in the incident.