by Katherine Mangu-Ward


A school in Newport Beach, California—where you’d think they would know better—suspended an elementary school kid for the beverage his mommy packed in his lunch bag.  It was kombucha, a fermented drink made with tea and sugar that can contain trace amounts of alcohol.

The California kid originally got fingered for the container his mom packed the tea in: a glass bottle protected by a foam sleeve. (Aficionados say the acidic tea shouldn’t be packed in plastic or metal.) But when school officials found out what was inside the verboten receptacle, they freaked out. The kid spent the whole day in the school office. At one point they called in a police officer. The vice principal suggested that the kid may be required to transfer schools and tried to enroll him in alcohol abuse counseling course aimed at teens. Then the infraction was reported to the school district and the kid was suspended for 5 days.

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