Teen excluded from Gloucester Academy for non-alcoholic shandy
TEENAGER Nikita Morrison claims she has been excluded from Gloucester Academy after teachers mistook her bottle of shandy for lager.
The 13-year-old Year 9 pupil was in her French lesson when she took out her bottle of Ben Shaw's Bitter Shandy while removing books from her bag on Wednesday.
Her teacher immediately confiscated it and within minutes Nikita was on her way home after being excluded for three days.
She claims staff at the Academy saw the soft drink as alcohol, despite the product's website stating it is suitable for children. It does contain some alcohol but at less 0.5 per cent which means its sale is not restricted.
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"I couldn't believe it," said Nikita, from Gloucester, who has never been excluded before. "You see kids at school drinking it all the time, even the Year 7s, there is nothing wrong with it.
"The teachers told me I wasn't allowed to bring it into school because it is lager. I told them it was pop but they just wouldn't listen."
The drink is sold in the soft drink aisle in shops, no ID is needed to buy it and it is officially classed as a soft drink by the UK Food Standards Agency.
Her mother Amanda said: "It's disgusting what the academy has done, there is nothing wrong with taking that drink into school at all.
"I will definitely be speaking to the school about it."
Alan Armstrong, interim headteacher at Gloucester Academy, said: "This school and all schools never exclude a student lightly or for trivial reasons. Schools have a duty of care to ensure all students are kept safe."
In 2010, a 10-year-old boy was excluded from his primary school in Kent after drinking the shandy.
A Ben Shaws spokesman said: "Shandies with less than 0.5 per cent alcohol by volume are defined as soft drinks and as such have no restriction on their sale or consumption.
"All products we manufacture under the shandy name are less than 0.5 per cent and this is stated on labelling."