Things That Matter

A Kindergartener Brought Jose Cuervo Margaritas to School and Served Them to 4 Students

While many parents are already overwhelmed by school COVID-19 protocols, their children having access to smartphones and the internet, and many of the trials and tribulations that come with living in 2022 — a set of Michigan parents were confronted with a situation they never expected.

Sending off their kindergarteners to school one day, they could have never thought their kids would have access to alcoholic drinks at snack time.

Parents across the board are shocked that it happened at all: a kindergartener at Grand River Academy in Livonia, Michigan brought a bottle of ready-to-drink Jose Cuervo margaritas marketed as “adult lemonade” to school last week. The plastic bottle had over 10% alcohol in it, and the student gave it to four other students in the class.

Alexis Smith and Dominique Zanders are mothers of two of the affected students, and are still in disbelief. Smith said her child had a Dixie cup of the Jose Cuervo drink and took “4 or 5” sips of it. Meanwhile, Zanders said her child “felt woozy, a little dizzy,” with the students reportedly thinking it was just juice.

Zanders explained, “the girl poured it in her cup and she drank it and the girl ended up telling her what it is, and she went and told the teacher there is liquor in this cup, and the teacher gave her a funny face.” With the student bringing the alcoholic drink in her backpack, Smith added that her daughter told her “the girl knew it was liquor.” 

Once the teacher caught wind of the situation, the school called the parents to inform them and explain their children were “OK.” Smith described: “I asked her, like, ‘Is my daughter OK?’… the teacher said ‘she’s right here, and she looks OK’. And then I said, ‘OK, well, how much did she drink?’” The mother was not given an exact answer, with Smith also worrying, “what if it was open before the girl brought it to school?”

While the school said it is considering disciplinary action towards the student, parents are instead choosing to place the blame on the school — or the child’s parents. While the school’s statement read, “we try to keep an eye on everything our students bring to school, [but] that’s simply not possible,” Zanders said, “I’m not sure if they are short-staffed or whatever, it shouldn’t have happened.”

On the other hand, Smith said the child’s parents should have taught their child “not to touch” bottles of alcohol. 

Still, the school’s statement said “these types of adult beverages can be easily mistaken for child-friendly drinks,” and that they immediately consulted “with medical professionals at poison control and [called] the parents of the children involved.”

While none of the affected students required further “medical attention,” Smith explains she is in “shock,” especially because her child takes medicine. Whether this has to do with schools now being chronically short-staffed, the situation is definitely terrifying for parents everywhere.

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