Kindergarten student brings Jose Cuervo mix to class in Livonia, shared it with 4 others

School officials say disciplinary measures will be taken

LIVONIA, Mich. – Parents were outraged after an elementary school student reportedly brought alcohol to class and had other students drink it.

Local 4 News is told that a kindergarten student at Grand River Academy in Livonia shared the alcoholic drink with four other students. The child reportedly brought a small plastic bottle of alcohol with more than 10% alcohol in it.

Parents were baffled at how something like this could happen. The school immediately contacted the parents of the five students that were involved.

“So many thoughts (were) running through my mind like ... what if it was open before the girl brought it to school? How much was it?” said parent Alexis Smith.

Smith says she got a call from her daughter’s school on the morning of April 14. The elementary school had informed her that a kindergartener had brought a premixed bottle of Jose Cuervo to class and shared it with four classmates, one of which being Smith’s 5-year-old.

“I asked her, like, ‘Is my daughter OK,’” said Smith. “The teacher said ‘she’s right here, and she looks OK’. And then I said, ‘OK, well, how much did she drink?’”

The school couldn’t give Smith a definite answer.

“My daughter takes medicine,” Smith said. “First off, no kid should be drinking, and you know, just the shock itself, it burns. Like how do you feel, like anything could have happened.”

Smith picked her daughter up from school early on Thursday. Later that day, the principal sent out a letter to the community regarding the incident.

“Dear Grand River Academy Kindergarten Families,

“This letter is to inform you of an incident that occurred in your child’s class today. A student brought a premixed alcoholic drink to school, which was shared with a few other students

“Upon learning of this, school leadership followed proper medical protocols and parents of the students involved were contacted immediately. Disciplinary measures will be taken in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. For more information about our illegal substances policy, see pages 26-27 of the Parent Student Handbook.

“Student privacy laws prevent me from sharing specific details. What I can share is that the safety and well-being of our school community remains a priority, which is why we immediately addressed the situation.

“School leaders aim to ensure that all students are making safe and smart choices, and we actively encourage them to practice ‘hear something, see something, say something.’

“Thank you for your continued support of Grand River Academy. If you have any questions, please contact the school office at (248) 893-6100 or our Parent Relations team at (877) 642-7471.”

Grand River Academy Principal

And while school was closed Friday, Smith said her daughter would not be back on Monday.

“It’s so heartbreaking,” Smith said. “I feel like her first year of kindergarten was already cut short because of COVID, and situations like this just make it worse.”

A spokesperson for the school also shared the following statement.

“We understand our parents’ fears and frustrations. A student did bring a pre-mixed, single-serve alcoholic beverage that was marketed as adult lemonade to school and share it with four classmates. While we try to keep an eye on everything our students bring to school, that’s simply not possible. It’s unfortunate that these types of adult beverages can be easily mistaken for child-friendly drinks.

“School staff noticed the beverage and immediately addressed the situation, which included consulting with medical professionals at poison control and calling the parents of the children involved.

“We are grateful no student became ill or needed medical attention.”

Grand River Academy Spokesperson

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About the Authors:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.