Student suspended for sharing caffeine gum

LOWER BURRELL, Pa. – A middle school student was suspended for three days for sharing chewing gum because it contained caffeine, school officials said.

The girl, whose name and age were not released, gave another Huston Middle School student Jolt gum. The gum is "a stimulant that has no other redeeming quality," said Amy Palermo, schools superintendent.

Products acting as a stimulant are prohibited and possessing them is grounds for disciplinary action, and the suspension was mainly based on the girl’s decision to share the gum, she said.

"What if the gum had been given to a student with a heart condition?" Palermo said Thursday.

The school has soda machines, but they aren’t turned on during school hours and drinks containing caffeine aren’t sold in the lunchroom.

Jolt is manufactured by GumRunners LLC of Hackensack, N.J., and is marketed as a caffeine-energy gum.

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