December 12, 2004 in Nation/World

Alcohol detected in fourth-grader’s Jell-O shots

Associated Press

GRETNA, La. – Traces of alcohol were detected in the suspected “Jell-O shots” taken to school by a fourth-grader – leading to her suspension – but it could have been the result of natural fermentation, a school official said.

School board president Gene Katsanis said the gelatin cannot be retested because it was not refrigerated after being discovered in the student’s book bag last month, Katsanis said. “It will always remain a mystery,” he said Friday.

The 8-year-old girl took the gelatin to school in small containers similar to those used by bars that serve liquor-spiked Jell-O. The girl’s gelatin was made by her mother, who works in a French Quarter bar that serves alcoholic Jell-O shots.

The mother, Adrienne Noble, has insisted that the gelatin never contained alcohol. She said the containers were innocent treats for her daughter’s classmates.

However, the girl was suspended for nine days because of a rule against possession of materials that appear to contain alcohol. She returned to Geraldine Boudreaux Elementary School on Friday.

The school system had initially refused to release the police test results on the gelatin because of student confidentiality laws. Katsanis said he had not seen the results but got the information from school system officials.

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