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Boy Suspended for Taking Belt of Mouthwash

March 23, 1997| From Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — A 13-year-old boy who says he just wanted minty fresh breath has been suspended for violating his school's alcohol policy.

Adam McMakin was suspended for a week after a security guard at Parkrose Middle School saw him take a bottle of Scope from his locker after lunch, swig and swallow.

"The lunch kind of tasted bad. I didn't have any place to spit," Adam explained Thursday. "They could have just warned me, and I wouldn't have used it anymore."

But school officials say the mouthwash violated their zero-tolerance policy for alcohol and they're just trying to make sure things don't get out of hand.

Adam's mother thought the punishment a little excessive.

"We knew that it has a little bit of alcohol, but who would have guessed 18.9%?" Carolyn McMakin said. "If it's 18.9%, shouldn't it be regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms instead of the FDA?"

Several common drugstore items have gotten students around the country in trouble lately because of zero-tolerance policies.

In Bremerton, Wash., 15 middle-school students were suspended Thursday for passing around and tasting Alka Seltzer tablets on campus. The three-week suspension can be reduced to three days if students attend drug-awareness classes and counseling.

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