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Fifth-Grader Takes On School Board Over Chapstick

She'd like to use it, but school officials say it's a medication
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2014 3:54 PM CDT
Fifth-Grader Takes On School Board Over Chapstick
A row of Chapstick containers on display at a store.   (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

(Newser) – A fifth-grader in Virginia is putting her social studies lessons to the test in a fight over ... Chapstick. As the News Virginian reports, 11-year-old Grace Karaffa came down with chapped lips on the playground and asked her teacher if she could have some of the lip balm to soothe them. She got a firm no, along with an explanation of school policy that Chapstick is too dangerous for kids. "They said it was some sort of medicine, and it’s not because it’s just a little stick of Vaseline," Grace tells WVTF.

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The youngster set about collecting more than 230 signatures for a petition that she presented to the school board in Stuarts Draft last week. An assistant superintendent with Augusta County Schools says Chapstick is considered an over-the-counter medication, and hence off-limits to kids, but he promises the board will take Grace's request under advisement. A blogger for Reason says what Grace is too polite to suggest: "The extent of idiotic zero-tolerance policies in public schools is almost unbelievable." (Last month, a teen says she was suspended for saying "bless you" in school after a student sneezed.)

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