The following is from OpinionJournal.com's Best of the Web Today for April 2, 2002:

Zero-Tolerance Watch
"Twenty elementary school students are on an extended Easter break after being suspended for buying or selling bags of 'happy powder,' " the Detroit News reports. The powder, distributed by students at Northwest Elementary in Howell, Mich., consisted of sugar, Kool-Aid and cinnamon; the kids will miss three days of school. "The issue is with how they were selling it in school," Superintendent Chuck Breiner tells the paper. "The way it parallels drug trafficking troubles us greatly."

Funny, we always thought the problem with drug trafficking was drugs.
Here's the complete article:
Powder gets 20 kids suspended

By Steve Pardo / The Detroit News

HOWELL -- Twenty elementary school students are on an extended Easter break after being suspended for buying or selling bags of "happy powder," a stunt that administrators say too closely mimicked drug transactions.

The powder was a mix of sugar, Kool Aid and cinnamon. But what alarmed Howell school administrators in Livingston County is how the kitchen concoction circulated around Northwest Elementary School. The powder was packaged in plastic bags, Supt. Chuck Breiner said, with some students selling and others buying.

"The issue is with how they were selling it in school," Breiner said. "The way it parallels drug trafficking troubles us greatly."

Nineteen fifth-graders and one third-grader were disciplined after teachers confiscated about 10 bags of the powder. All are involved in the school's Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program.

Principal John Clay suspended the students for three days after an investigation. They were banned from classes last Wednesday and Thursday, and will miss a day when school reopens April 8 after the Easter break.

In all, about $6 had changed hands. And some youngsters consumed the powder at school, though they may not have known what was in the bags.

"It's not what you call a high-finance operation," Breiner said. "But it's disturbing to the point where clearly a message needed to be sent."

Jeannine Pratt, president of the Howell High School Parent Teacher Organization, has a son in first grade at Northwest. She was shocked when she found out about the powder.

"This just totally blows me away," Pratt said. "I respect our administration that they didn't take it lightly. I realize this was sugar, but the students have to realize there are consequences."

School administrators said the crackdown is the largest mass suspension of local elementary school students that they can recall.

"If you hit them hard now, maybe they'll think twice in the future," Pratt said.
As the saying goes, sometimes real life is stranger than fiction...