Another example of the idiocy of “zero tolerance” drug laws.

Say you suffer from asthma and you have a girlfriend who also suffers from asthma and the two of you use the same asthma medication. What do you do if your girlfriend forgets to bring her inhaler with her to school and ends up having an asthma attack which the school is unprepared to handle? If it were me, I’d let her take a hit from my inhaler. Apparently, though, this is not only against the rules at Caney Creek High School, but it’s also against the law in Texas and will get your helpful ass arrested.

Yahoo! News – Teenager In Trouble In Inhaler Incident

Andra Ferguson and her boyfriend, Brandon Kivi, both 15, use the same type of asthma medicine, Albuterol Inhalation Aerosol.

Ferguson said she forgot to bring her medication to their school, Caney Creek High School, on Sept. 24. When she had trouble breathing, she went to the nurse’s office.

Out of concern, Kivi let her use his inhaler.

“I was trying to save her life. I didn’t want her to die on me right there because the nurse’s office (doesn’t) have breathing machines,” Kivi said.

“It made a big difference. It did save my life. It was a Good Samaritan act,” Ferguson said.

But the school nurse said it was a violation of the district’s no-tolerance drug policy, and reported Kivi to the campus police.

The next day, he was arrested and accused of delivering a dangerous drug. Kivi was also suspended from school for three days. He could face expulsion and sent to juvenile detention on juvenile drug charges.

The mothers of both teenagers are angry.

“My son will not go to jail. This is ridiculous,” said Theresa Hock, Kivi’s mother. “I believe he shouldn’t be punished at all because he was helping her. She was in distress.”

“If he hadn’t helped her, she would have passed out or died or something because her asthma’s been really bad this year,” said Sandra Ferguson, Andra’s mother.

The school principal said he couldn’t do anything about it since Kivi not only broke school rules, but also allegedly violated state law.

Yeah kid, perhaps you did “save her life,” but we cannot allow any exceptions to the zero tolerance rules or the next thing you know your entire classroom will be lighting up crack pipes.

It’s certainly true that you don’t want kids passing around their prescription drugs with wild abandon, but this is obviously not the case in this situation. Both students were on the same medication and the school was unprepared to handle the emergency themselves. To punish someone for doing the right thing in an emergency is just the epitome of idiotic on so many levels that I can’t begin to put it into words, but hey it’s all part of the “War on Drugs” and in any war there’ll always be a few innocent bystanders who become causalities for the cause.

Friggin’ morons.

Found via TPRS.

14 thoughts on “Another example of the idiocy of “zero tolerance” drug laws.

  1. In hindsight, I suppose he should have snuck it to her, while she proclaimed “Oh, HERE’s my inhaler…”.

    But that wouldn’t have occured to me, either, not at the moment.

    I remember being in school really only needing an aspirin for a headache. I was in the clinic (thinking I could get an aspirin or Tylenol or something). About the time I realized they were going to be of no help, a friend passed the clinic door, asked what was wrong, and then proceeded to pull some Excedrin out of her purse. The “nurse” (read: busybody fundie volunteer with no medical training)acted like we were about to fire up some medical marijuana. “YOU CAN’T GIVE THAT TO HER!”.

    Thinking maybe she didn’t see the label, my friend held it up to show her and said “Oh, it’s not prescription or anything, it’s just Excedrin, see?”


    So I asked “Ok, what am I SUPPOSED to do. I have a big test in 30 minutes, and I have a snowballing headache.”

    Apparently my choices were:
    -Go home (and miss the test I studied my ass off for)
    – Have my mother/father BRING me aspirin. Uhm, my parents have freakin’ JOBS. There’s no need for them to take an hour to drive something over here that exists right here in my friend’s hand.
    – Have my parents send a note and their own sanctified aspirin to be kept in the clinic FOR me. Fine, but that doesn’t help me right NOW does it?

    I just told the nurse, “that’s OK, it’s not that bad anyway, I’m fine. Thanks.” And left the clinic, met my friend in the hall, and took the freaking Excedrin. And made sure I never came to school again with a pain reliever in my purse.

    God forbid the friend had tried to pass me a Midol or a Sudafed. We’d probably still be in jail.

  2. :twocents: The war on drugs is just plain stupid. I think they should just go ahead and legalize drugs.

    Not because I think drugs are good, cause they’re not. They should do it because the money spent on the drug war, could be spent on drug rehab programs, education programs, etc, etc.

    Half they people in jail today are there because of marijuana charges. Just think of the tax payer savings if we released them from jail.

    I’m personally sick and tired of paying for the drug war. :twocents:

  3. This is truly outrageous.  If anyone should be seeing the strong arm of the law, it should be the school for not being prepared for this kind of thing.

  4. I have a son with Asthma and if he had an attack
    and someone with the same med gave him some and
    this occured in our school I would devote my life
    to getting rid of the sactamonious asshole who was
    in charge. Asthma pts. know their drugs (inhalers)
    and the dosages. It is a life threatning emergency
    when an attack occurs and you don’t wait for it to
    end, you treat it and treat it NOW not when some
    school nurse or principal says to.

  5. yeah, zero-tolerance is for stupid administrators who are too lazy to make up specific rules, such as

    “The delivery of illegal substances can result in suspension”

    But no. Administrators wish to make their easy job a lot easier by writing a student handbook with 3 lines on it:

    No Touching
    No Hurting
    No Drugs

    but hey, at least they’re printing out copies instead of making one and frame it somewhere.

    Political corectness will fuck up america

  6. In a conversation with a parking enforcement officer the other day, it occurred to me: tiny brains in pursuit of even tinier rules is a recipe for your job being replaced with a robot.  Hell, you could program a friggin’ robot to show more common sense than that. 

    (Subroutine: check school records for prescriptions.  Both students have same prescription.  Check nature of incident: possibly life threatening.  Rule-bending factor 0.75…)

    The whole TV series “MASH” was devoted to the interaction of literal-minded morons and normal human beings.

    Gaaarrrrrgghh!  This kind of stuff makes me want to bitch-slap someone.  Just yesterday the Army warned its recruits against using any skin cream made from hemp because… well you know why.  It might contain MICROSCOPIC AMOUNTS OF THC THE DEVIL MOLECULE!!!  Apparently the concern was that someone might fail a drug test and as the memo said, “it just isn’t worth that risk.”

    Here’s a great list of Stupid Security measures to drive up your blood pressure… just make sure you don’t borrow any blood-pressure medication from the guy next to you…

  7. Pan, America’s already fucked up. It always was. Ever since it got its independence from England. That’s what has happened to most countries after gaining English Independence: America, India, Republic of Ireland (although it got hella rich in the 90s). But America is especially fucked up.

  8. This is a perfect example of when the general public, parents, whomever such lunacy concerns should step up and show Zero Tolerance for Zero Tolerance bullshit.
    There is a time & a place for vigilantism and this would be a good occasion to bring out the pitchforks & torches and show solidarity that you are simply NOT going to put up with such complete stupidity.

    The so called “War on Drugs” is one of the worst blunders the US Gov. has made in 200 years, it is an enormous drain of resources with no return for the BILLIONS wasted.
    It is exactly the opposite of what they should be doing, clearly prohibition “should” have taught them this lesson but nope.

    I can really only blame myself & everyone else like me though, which is 98% of the American populace for allowing stupidity to continue in a Gov. of which believe it or not we DO actually control if we simply resort back to our rebellious roots and revolt.
    Unfortunately the religious Reich has virtually taken over the Gov. at every level from local to state to federal, from Dog catcher, School board, to President, the vast majority of these lunatics are delusional, many should be committed to Sanitariums yet they have managed to make it into positions of authority in our system.
    We are headed for a total meltdown of this country if we allow these delusional nutjobs to take “dominion” over this country.

  9. I would like to remind everyone (Especially you, idiot self righteous parents out there), that these rules and regulations are approved at meetings that YOU can attend. That YOU can change them if you would get off your asses to do so. Bitch all you want, but then actually DO something about it. Change the laws, vote people out of office, vote people off the board of directors and heaven forbid, take some responsibility for yourself and the schools that your children are attending. That’s your tax dollars they are spending.  YOU have a right to attend these meetings. Turn off Survivor and actually go to one (yeah, those meetings, the ones your kids bring home handouts requesting your attendance at) and at least make it a place where kids can get the medical help they need when they need it.

    Blame the school’s if you want, I blame the parents who didn’t protest when these rules were suggested for implementation. Think I’m wrong? Look at the Patriot Act, how many of you people actually bitched to your congressmen about that one before they passed it into law? This shit happens all the time. This is not an isolated incident. WAKE UP people. Look Around. Then, do something about it!

  10. This is the kind of story that makes you wonder how it all turned out. After a cursory search, it looks like a follow-up article was reported e.g. here and there about two weeks later.

    Quick summary:

    On Friday, school officials decided to expel Kivi but not press criminal charges. They said it was an amicable agreement.

    “I’m happy. Everything’s final,” Kivi said. “I’m expelled ‘til after Christmas and I can come back after Christmas, but I won’t.”

    Both Kivi and Ferguson decided to withdraw from Caney Creek High School to be home-schooled.

    The families received calls of support from around the world after their story was made public.

  11. Do they teach Intelligent Design at this school, too? snake

    Well, at least the kids have learned a good lesson, which will serve them well later: people can be mindbogglingly stupid.

  12. Blame Yourselves says

    That YOU can change them if you would get off your asses to do so. Bitch all you want, but then actually DO something about it.

    I’d like to think that I do try to take action. As a liberal, I am personally concerned about the decidedly right-wing, theocratic direction that this country is taking.

    What can I do about it? Well, not being a politician myself, the most I can do is vote (which I do, both on a national level and on a state/local level), petition/contact senators and representatives (which I do, sometimes on a daily basis), take it to the streets (which I do, most dramatically when I traveled to Washington D.C. from my home in California and participated in the April 25, 2004 “March for Choice”), or donate money to or otherwise involve myself with interest groups and PACs (which I do, as I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice, the Gay-Straight Alliance, Greenpeace, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and many other such organizations).

    Therefore, as a citizen, I like to think that I am pretty active in keeping my government informed of my opinions and that I’m not just laying back and accepting the crap it’s trying to throw at us.

    The trouble is, this country is not quite as democratic as it is touted to be. Citizens and interest groups do make a difference, but the Establishment (by which I obviously mean the goverment and the system)  is still unfortunately the one who ultimately calls the shots. For example, you mention

    the Patriot Act, how many of you people actually bitched to your congressmen about that one before they passed it into law?

    Believe me, I can see through this Orwellian nightmare piece of legislation as much as anyone else who has their eyes and ears open. I complain about it to goverment officials (via email and/or paper letters) quite often. But in this post 9/11 era, the federal government has attained a dangerous degree of power that makes it difficult for citizens and even large groups to strongly sway lawmakers (particular given the Right’s current game of calling anyone who disagrees with such legislation “unpatriotic”). Especially in the case of inanities such as the “War on Drugs

  13. I didn’t think he pulled the Patriot Act. That was dumb. If I remember correctly, the integrity of the paper was never questioned during the process, so they made into law something that they had never actually read. The “Patriot Act” that was read was not the same as the one that was actually passed into the books.

    So, did we have power in that? No, not really. We weren’t asked whether or not we wanted the laws rewritten, and it was never mentioned until after it was passed. We have an excuse when it comes to the Patriot Act; besides which, I can’t think of one rational person (who isn’t being bought) who agrees with it.

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