Let Them Smell Sharpies: Third Grader Suspended for Savoring Marker’s Scent

Sharpies.jpgThere’s a time in every child’s life when the fruity, esterified scents of Mr. Sketch markers–even the heady mint of the green one–just don’t cut it anymore. A tang of mediocrity emanates from that yellow box of Crayolas, the Marks-a-lots smell like grandpa, and the tinny, headache-inducing aroma of those slim Vis-a-Vis types is best left for one’s teacher and the overhead projector. It’s Sharpie time: quick-drying, permanent on most surfaces, and oh, that whiff of danger.

Given the rite of passage that is Sharpie use, we were appauled to learn that earlier this month, eight-year-old Eathan Harris was suspended from his Colorado elementary school for sniffing Sharpie fumes. The school’s principal, Chris Benisch, said that he suspended Harris (or “Sharpie boy,” as the Rocky Mountain News dubbed him) because he repeatedly sniffed his sweatshirt on which he’d drawn with the black marker. Benisch described the Sharpie in question as “enormous.”

Harris’ suspension was reduced from three days to one after his father complained. Meanwhile, Benisch sent out a warning to all students about solvents and “purged” the school of every last permanent marker. However, a glance at any Sharpie label reveals that the markers are non-toxic and according to toxicologists, cannot be used to get high. Harris is now back in his third-grade classroom, hoping that the incident won’t derail his dreams of becoming a professional football player. Commenting on the Sharpie, Harris said, “It smelled good.”