Latest Drug War News

GoodShop: You Shop...We Give!

Shop online at and a percentage of each purchase will be donated to our cause! More than 600 top stores are participating!

The Internet Our Website

Global and National Events Calendar

Bottoms Up: Guide to Grassroots Activism

Prisons and Poisons

November Coalition Projects

Get on the Soapbox! with Soap for Change

November Coalition: We Have Issues!

November Coalition Local Scenes

November Coalition Multimedia Archive

The Razor Wire
Bring Back Federal Parole!
November Coalition: Our House

Stories from Behind The WALL

November Coalition: Nora's Blog

December 16, 2008 -- (FL)

Girl Handing Out Cough Drops Accused Of Selling Drugs At School

Return to Drug War News: Don't Miss Archive


CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- A Clay County father said he wants answers after his daughter and two other kids at her elementary school were accused of selling drugs and facing possible punishment all over some Vitamin C drops.

Nine-year-old Khalin Rivenbark's father said hs was accused of selling drugs after giving out cough drops to fellow students at school.
The 9-year-old girl told Channel 4 that she thinks of things like cigarettes as drugs, and she was confused when her teacher told her Halls are also considered a drug.

Fourth-grade student Khalin Rivenbark said her teacher accused of her selling drugs in school.

"She saw me with the cough drops out and I guess she saw me give it to one of my friends, and then like, 'Oh, I see this good business going on around you,'" Khalin said. "She said, 'You're selling drugs.' (I said) 'No I'm not.'"

The drugs the girl allegedly had were the Halls Defense Vitamin C cough drops, which her father had put in her backpack weeks ago to take to school when the child was getting over a cold.

"It's absolutely crazy," said Khalin's father.

Khalin said two of her friends at school asked her for cough drops and she gave them out, but the friends, she said, insisted on giving her a dollar in exchange for the drops.

"She felt guilty taking the cough drop or whatever, so she gave me a dollar. I didn't want to accept it, but she had me take it," Khalin said.

According to the student handbook for Clay County Schools, "If a student must take a prescription or over-the-counter medication during school hours, it must be received and stored in the original container, and be labeled with the student's name, current date, prescription dosage, frequency of administration and physician's name."

The question remains whether Halls Defense qualifies as an over-the-counter drug. Although many cough drops contain menthol as an active ingredient, the brand that Khalin had did not contain menthol.

After examining the ingredients in the drops Khalin had, Channel 4 reporter Diane Cho said the ingredients in the cough drops were near exactly the same as what's in a Lifesafers candy.

The girl's father, Andy Rivenbark, said he didn't get a note or call from school administrators about the incident. He said he just wants answers.

"It's definitely detrimental to somebody who we teach the whole time growing up, 'don't use drugs because drugs are bad.' To accuse her, it's unnecessary to make a comment like that," Rivenbark said.

Khalin has not been punished yet. She said her teacher and her principal would meet again Wednesday morning to discuss things further.

For the latest drug war news, visit our friends and allies below

We are careful not to duplicate the efforts of other organizations, and as a grassroots coalition of prisoners and social reformers, our resources (time and money) are limited. The vast expertise and scope of the various drug reform organizations will enable you to stay informed on the ever-changing, many-faceted aspects of the movement. Our colleagues in reform also give the latest drug war news. Please check their websites often.

The Drug Policy Alliance
Drug Reform Coordination Network
Drug Sense and The Media Awareness Project

Working to end drug war injustice

Meet the People Behind The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

Questions or problems? Contact