- Associated Press - Saturday, May 21, 2016

SUMTER, S.C. (AP) - A Sumter eighth grader has been suspended for nine days for bringing hot pepper flakes to school.

The Sumter Item reports (https://bit.ly/241DEfE ) the Bates Middle School student brought flakes from the Carolina Reaper chili pepper on Wednesday. It’s considered one of the world’s hottest chilies.

District spokeswoman Shelly Galloway says the 14-year-old student was disciplined for bringing a harmful substance to school, and the pepper’s considered contraband.

Lori Main says her son took a small bag of crushed pepper flakes to school because his friends wanted to try it. She says it wasn’t a malicious prank, and she feels the punishment is extreme.

She says about 10 students willingly tasted the pepper.

Her son can attend his graduation ceremony on June 1 but not practices.

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Information from: The Sumter Item, https://www.theitem.com

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