Mom angry after son, 5, sips alcoholic drink on school playground

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A mother is angry after learning her 5-year-old son drank from an alcoholic beverage he found on his elementary school’s playground.  

Itzel Melendez said she was not prepared for the news she received Tuesday morning. 

“It was shocking,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting to hear what I heard.”

What she heard was that her 5-year-old drunk from an alcoholic canned beverage on Maymont Elementary School’s playground during recess, before a teacher was able to take the drink away. 

“It was alcohol,” Melendez said. “It was a Long Island iced tea…. wow. I didn’t expect to hear that.”

The family took the boy to the emergency room. Doctors checked on the child and found there was nothing visibly wrong with him after sipping a drink that contained 12 percent alcohol. 

But Melendez says it didn’t stop her from worrying. 

“Could the can be contaminated with something?” she asked. “What was in there besides alcohol? Was something else in there?”

With growing concerns over her child, she says Richmond Public Schools needs to take action to make sure an incident like this never happens again. 

“I need to hear from the people above the teacher,” Melendez said.  “What are they doing? Are they concerned?”

“Incidents happen all the time,” Melendez continued. “I understand that. But, they should do their due diligence to let the parents know what’s going on.”

8News reached out to RPS and the school responded with the following statement: “Students safety is a top priority and we will continue to work to follow all safety protocols, including daily playground sweeps. 

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