According to this report from the Carlisle, Pennsylvania newspaper The Sentinel, Boiling Springs High School Student Andrew Figueiredo was suspended from school for taking 3 dietary supplement pills at lunch in the cafeteria. South Middleton School District administrators took the position that Andrew was taking medication without authorization and suspended him for 10 days. Andrew plays soccer, and the school also suspended him for half the season.

It appears that the school district’s position is that when Andrew took the supplements he violated his responsibility, set forth in the Boiling Springs Student Handbook, not to use drugs or alcohol. This incurs a 10 day suspension, but the school is also supposed to make sure Andrew “receive[s] appropriate support and education about the use of drugs and alcohol; receive[s] support from school nurse, guidance counselors, and Student Assistance Team in dealing with these issues if necessary.”

Not surprisingly, Andrew’s parents are boiling mad (pardon the pun), and have appealed the suspension. Andrew even took a drug test to assuage concerns that the supplements he took were really steroids. And, of course, they have a lawyer.

One of the comments posted to The Sentinel article astutely observes that since dietary supplements are regulated as a food, not a drug, in order to be consistent the school board will need to ban the consumption of food during lunch.  Perhaps we can convince the school that the appropriate support and education about the use of dietary supplements should be to read this blog. 😉

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Joel B. Rothman represents clients in intellectual property infringement litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, defamation, trade libel, unfair competition, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and commercial matters. Joel’s litigation practice also includes significant focus on electronic discovery issues such as e-discovery management and motion practice relating to e-discovery.

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