Livonia kindergarteners sharing tequila drink draws condemnation, comedy

The Detroit News

An incident last week at a Livonia charter school, where a kindergartener passed around cups of a premixed tequila cocktail to classmates, has drawn a wide range of reactions, from horror to hilarity. 

Grand River Academy, a public charter school, said in a statement to families of kindergarten students that on Thursday "a student brought a premixed alcoholic drink to school, which was shared with a few other students.

"Upon learning of this, school leadership followed proper medical protocols and parents of the students involved were contacted immediately. Disciplinary measures will be taken in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct," Principal Ralph Garza wrote.

A person who answered the phone at the school said Garza was not available. 

Leah Nixon, a spokesperson for the school, later said in an email that one student brought to school a pre-mixed, single-serve alcoholic beverage marketed as adult lemonade, and shared it with four classmates. 

School officials noticed it and addressed the situation, Nixon said, and that included calling the parents of the children involved and consulting with professionals at a poison control center.

"We understand our parents’ fears and frustrations," Nixon said. "While we try to keep an eye on everything our students bring to school, that’s simply not possible. It’s unfortunate that these types of adult beverages can be easily mistaken for child-friendly drinks."

"We are grateful no student became ill or needed medical attention."

The story was shared widely on social media by news organizations, including the "Today" show and the New York Post. The posts often drew hundreds of comments, many that included discussions of who deserved blame: the school, the teacher, parents or companies that package alcohol in containers that make it attractive and easy to access.

It also drew plenty of jokes at the idea of 5-year-olds holding their own cocktail hour, including on Monday night from Stephen Colbert, host of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on CBS.

On social media, amateur comedians were quick with their own jabs, as well. 

Parents of students in the class did not find the situation funny, however, telling WDIV  that they would keep their children at home, in one case, and wanting some punishment for the student who brought the drink.

Reached by phone, Livonia police Lt. Charles Lister said he had nothing to discuss before hanging up on a reporter. It's not clear what if any involvement the department had in the incident.

halbarghouthi@detroitnews.com