ASTON, Pa. (WTXF) - A 13-year-old girl brought a Twisted Tea to school. No one's arguing that, but the teen and her family say she had no idea the drink she grabbed had alcohol in it. They say an innocent mistake has become a nightmare that may end with the girl facing charges.
“I thought it was regular iced tea. It had a different taste, but I just thought that’s how the brand tasted,” Kayla Ryder said.
“Had you ever tasted alcohol before?” FOX 29's Joyce Evans asked.
“No,” Kayla replied.
The 13-year-old 8th grader said some of her classmates asked for a taste, so she shared it as she normally would.
Northley Middle School administrators called Kayla after they got wind she brought Twisted Tea, flavored with five percent alcohol, to lunch.
“I told the school I take full responsibility because I had purchased it the night before. I put it in the bottom of the pantry, along with the juice boxes. I will never make that mistake again,” Sakina Ryder, Kayla’s mom, said.
She was suspended four days.
“I felt like a four day suspension was a bit much if they were not going to hold any of the other kids accountable,” Sakina said.
“It was an honest mistake taking it on the property. I just feel as though they are taking it way too far,” Donald Ryder, Kayla’s dad, said.
The Ryders said it went even further after Sakina Ryder expressed she was going to challenge the punishment before the school board.
“I was threatened with ‘You take what we give you or we’re going to make things more difficult for you,’” Sakina said.
A few days later, Kayla was called down to the local police department and questioned. Her mom refused to sign her daughter up for a program for first time juvenile offenders, distributing alcohol, according to the Ryder’s.
“I’m just worried right now because I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if they’re going to press charges on me or how people are going to talk to me when I go back to school,” Kayla said.
“She’s only 13-years-old. Never been in trouble, gets great grades,” Donald Ryder stated.
Kayla’s dad, a Philadelphia Police officer, said he’s never seen anything like this before.
“She’ll never be the same after this incident,” Donald said.
Her mom said Kayla has been isolating herself in her bedroom. She is set to go back to class Tuesday, she knows she has to.
“Emotionally, I don’t want to,” Kayla said.
Kayla’s mom is now blaming herself.
“To see my daughter hurting like this, if I could turn the tables, I would probably have taken the four day suspension and not have asked any questions,” Sakina said.
The Ryders said they moved to Aston, Pa. for the great school system.
They fear what started as a school disciplinary action, has turned into something really ugly.