Lip Balm Revolt: Girl Seeks End To School Policy

Lacy LangleyLife

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A lip balm revolution has found some success in Virginia.

"Grace was told in the second grade she couldn't use ChapStick, but we didn't look into why," her father, David Karaffa, said. "When Grace asked if she could use ChapStick while out in the cold last year, she was told again, 'No, you're not allowed.'"

Grace Karaffa, who had been told for years that she couldn't use Chap Stick in school, found that her bleeding lips were becoming more of a distraction than what school officials claimed her application of the balm would be.

This realization led young Grace to embark on a very grown-up project.

David Karaffa said, "She said, 'Dad, I want to get rid of this ChapStick ban thing.' I said, 'Okay, you have to speak to your teacher and the principal, who both advised she write a letter to the Augusta County school board."

She began a petition that gained over 300 signatures and had an appointment to speak at a school board meeting. After Grace gave her lip balm speech before the school board, a member asked if she saw her lip balm as a distraction.

"She said, 'I think it would be more distracting to have bleeding lips while I'm doing my work,'" her father said. "That ended that line of questioning."

The school board revealed in a statement that the rule was based on advice from health officials.

"Health officials were concerned that the sharing of items like ChapStick, lip gloss and other lip balm products among elementary-aged students might well have been contributing to a serious infectious disease outbreak," the statement read.

It continued, "The school division chose to control the use of these products not because of a concern that they are inherently dangerous, but out of a concern that they may have been a means for the transmission of disease."

Good luck to Grace Karaffa as she awaits the decision from the school board on the lip balm rule!

Lacy Langley
Lacy is a writer from Texas. She likes spending time in the home office, homeschooling her kids, playing the didgeridoo, caring for her chickens (Thelma and Louise), Rolos, Christmas, and Labyrinth.