Craigsville, Va. (CBS DC) — A Draft Elementary School fifth-grader has collected more than 200 signatures for a petition seeking to end a school ban on Chapstick.
Grace Karaffa, 11, appeared before the Augusta County School Board Thursday to ask for a policy change that would allow students to use Chapstick on their chapped lips. Current zero-tolerance school rules label the lip balm a “medicine” that requires permission from a physician and for the product to be applied by a school nurse. The 11-year-old’s petition was sparked by an incident in which she was denied Chapstick after playing on the playground.
“I was told I couldn’t use it. Then later that day they (lips) started to bleed so I asked for Chapstick again and I was told that it was against the school policy for elementary kids to have Chapstick,” Karaffa told The News Virginian. “Chapstick allows the human body to heal the lips themselves and protects them in any weather from drying out.
“I don’t think it’s right for kids to have bleeding lips during class,” Karaffa told WHSV-TV. “They think it’s a medicine and it’s just a stick of Vaseline.”
She concluded her speech: “Please school board, allow us to have Chapstick.”
The petition acquired 236 signatures in the past week from fellow students, according to her father, Augusta County Supervisor David Karaffa.
But George Earhart, assistant superintendent for administration with the Augusta County school system, said Chapstick is considered an over-the-counter medication by the school board. He said that the board’s policy for such medicines requires notification from a physician and that it is administered by a school nurse.
Earhart said the largest concern reflected in the policy is that elementary school students would share their medications.
Karaffa’s request has been taken under advisement by the school board and the school administration told the News Virginian that it will communicate with the Karaffa family and report back to the county school board with a decision.