Four students were suspended from a downstate Illinois high school last week for eating caffeinated mints during lunch, and their parents are furious.
“This is going to affect them for the rest of their lives," Jason McMichael told Matt Lauer Tuesday on NBC's Today Show. "It will be on their high school transcripts. This could affect college, future jobs. Their reputations are down the tubes, so I want this wiped off their records.”
McMichael told Lauer he received a call from Pekin Community High School's dean's office last Wednesday informing him that his son, Eric McMichael, had been suspended for suspicion of drugs. He said the school also told him Eric had an elevated heart rate and blood pressure.
“My worst fear was that this was something actually bad, like pot or meth or coke,” McMichael said.
Turns out they're called "energy mints," which boast the same amount of caffeine as coffee or Red Bull, both products the school sells.
McMichael told Lauer his son and three others were suspended last Thursday and Friday, forcing them to miss homecoming, even after the school determined the possible drugs were mints.
"I thought I was going back to school by Friday," Eric McMichael said on the show.
"People bring energy drinks to school every day," he said. "I see this every day and we get in trouble for energy mints."
Eric McMichael said he was told the mints were just an energy drink in mint form and the only reason they got in trouble was because the product was unmarked.
All of the students will be back in school Wednesday morning.