Fair Or Too Far? School Forbids 11-Year-Old The Use Of Chapstick In School Despite Bleeding & Cracked Lips As Allergy Precaution

- By Bossip Staff

School Forbids 11-Year-Old The Use Of Chapstick
via Fox News/em>

When 11-year-old Grace Karaffa was told she couldn’t use ChapStick at her Virginia elementary school, the girl — who’d been prohibited from using it for years to treat her dry, bleeding lips — decided she’d had enough.

The fifth-grader at Stuarts Draft Elementary School created a petition and presented her case before the Augusta County school board last week, arguing that a ban on the most commonly used remedy to treat chapped lips was “inappropriate,” her father told FoxNews.com.

“Grace was told in the second grade she couldn’t use ChapStick, but we didn’t look into why,” David Karaffa said. “When Grace asked if she could use ChapStick while out in the cold last year, she was told again, ‘No, you’re not allowed.'”

Her lips then started to bleed in class, according to her father, but the girl was still refused ChapStick by a teacher who said it was against school policy. Grace was forced to go into the bathroom and wet her lips to relieve the cracking and bleeding, Karaffa said.

“They told her at the time that some kids might be allergic to ChapStick,” he said.

When Grace started the fifth-grade last month, she decided she’d approach the matter in a way most 11-year-olds would not — delivering a carefully outlined speech before the school board in support of overturning the ban.

“She said, ‘Dad, I want to get rid of this ChapStick ban thing.’ I said, ‘Okay, you have to speak to your teacher and the principal, who both advised she write a letter to the Augusta County school board,” he said.

Following her speech, Grace was cross-examined, her father said — with one board member asking the girl if using ChapStick at school might be seen as a distraction.

“She said, ‘I think it would be more distracting to have bleeding lips while I’m doing my work,'” her father said. “That ended that line of questioning.”

Grace also started a petition drive on notebook paper, which was signed by fellow classmates, including her Girl Scout troop. It has more than 300 signatures to date.

In a statement, the Augusta County Schools superintendent’s office said the ChapStick rule was based on input from local health care experts.

“Health officials were concerned that the sharing of items like Chapstick, lip gloss and other lip balm products among elementary-aged students might well have been contributing to a serious infectious disease outbreak,” the statement read. “The school division chose to control the use of these products not because of a concern that they are inherently dangerous, but out of a concern that they may have been a means for the transmission of disease.”

The statement also said the lip balm regulation would be reviewed.

In a statement sent to FoxNews.com, Pfizer, the manufacturer of the lip balm, said, “ChapStick has been used safely by millions of consumers for more than one hundred years.”

Grace’s proposal is under review as she waits to hear from school board officials, Karaffa said.

In the meantime, she plans to send each member a letter, thanking them for their consideration, and including in it a tube of ChapStick.

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