Epic Lip Balm Battle Between Virginia and Fifth-grader

Chapstick Banned From School

A school in Virginia has banned the use of Chapstick after eleven year old Grace Karaffa tried to treat her dry, cracked, bleeding lips with it. When the child asked if she could use her Chapstick at Draft Elementary School, she was denied, due to the fact that the lip balm is considered to be a medication.

Students would be required to have a doctor’s note to use Chapstick in school. According to cafemom.com, “What could be the reasoning behind this? Could kids sniff Chapstick and become high as a kite? Would too much Chapstick cause one to become addicted? Could Chapstick be a gateway drug to harder “medicines” like lip gloss or lip balm? One day it’s Chapstick, the next you’re smearing lip balm all over your body and gyrating on a stripper pole? What?”


Not The First

Chapstick shouldn’t feel alone. It is not the first strange substance to be banned from American schools. Cafe Mom also tells the story of a school in San Antonio Texas which banned sunscreen. The kids there are not even allowed to use sunscreen if they are on a field trip…in the sun. Their reasoning? Sunscreen is considered by them to be toxic substance. Apparently, the school district believes that the risk of a child being allergic to sunscreen, and their parent failing to alert the school, is higher than that of a child being sunburned. A mother named Christy Riggs went to battle with the school over this policy when her daughter did become burned during a field trip.

Eleven Year-old Grace Goes to War

According to the Daily Progress, “An 11-year-old Stuarts Draft Elementary School student has collected petition signatures and officially asked the county school board to allow elementary students to use Chapstick. Stuarts Draft fifth-grader Grace Karaffa appeared before the school board Thursday night, saying she had requested the substance while on the playground after suffering chapped lips. “I was told I couldn’t use it. Then later that day they (lips) started to bleed so I asked for Chapstick again and I was told that it was against the school policy for elementary kids to have Chapstick,” Grace said. Grace asked the school board to change its policy. “Chapstick allows the human body to heal the lips themselves and protects them in any weather from drying out,” she said. She concluded her speech by saying, “Please school board, allow us to have Chapstick.”

Grace Defends Her Stance

The school board tested little Grace’s intelligence and resolve by questioning her after her speech. She was asked if using Chapstick at school could be a distraction. “I think it would be more distracting to have my lips bleeding while I’m doing my work,” she answered. Fox News shares that Grace’s answer ended that line of questioning. The child now has over 300 signatures on notebook paper, including those of her Girl Scout troop.

School Board Promises to Review Case

While Grace has not yet won her case, the school board has promised to review it. The school claims that their ban on Chapstick was based on concerns from local health experts, “Health officials were concerned that the sharing of items like Chapstick, lip gloss and other lip balm products among elementary-aged students might well have been contributing to a serious infectious disease outbreak. The school division chose to control the use of these products not because of a concern that they are inherently dangerous, but out of a concern that they may have been a means for the transmission of disease,” the board said in a statement. Chapstick manufacturer Pfizer issued a statement to Fox News saying, “ChapStick has been used safely by millions of consumers for more than one hundred years.”

Not too many years ago, kids played in the dirt, drank from water hoses, swam in creeks and lakes, and shared anything from toys to ice cream sandwiches. Now they are banned from using Chapstick and sunscreen. Overprotective much?