COVINGTON, Ga. -- It's an ongoing trend that has parents and teachers baffled: kids crushing Smarties candies into powder and sniffing it.
Nine-year-old Demitri Santiago was recently suspended from Porterdale Elementary School in Newton County. His mother, Chelsi Lewis, said she received a phone call saying her son had been seen sniffing the candy powder.
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"I said, 'What? Where could he have gotten this from?'" Lewis recalls of the phone call last Thursday.
"He told me he had witnessed a student in class, he had actually watched her. He'd watched her crush it up and inhale it," Lewis said. "I said, what made you so curious about it? And he said her reaction was like, wooo!"
Monday afternoon, Lewis said her son came home with a note stating he had been suspended for two days. The reason listed was possession of banned objects.
According to the referral, Demitri was caught by a teacher "sniffing a powdery substance."
Lewis believes it was an innocent act of a curious child, and Demitri said he wouldn't do it again. But Lewis wanted to warn other parents about the dangerous trend.
"Anything going up the nose and especially candy - anything was terribly dangerous," she said.
Newton County School System spokesperson Sherri Davis-Viniard released the following statement to 11Alive News:
This matter is currently under investigation. The health, safety, and well-being of our students are all very important to us. This activity has the potential to be very dangerous for children and parents need to be aware of the possible health risks. While we cannot release individual student discipline information due to federal privacy laws, those involved have been disciplined accordingly.