11/09/2014 13:37 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Girl, 11, Banned From Taking Lip Balm To School

Associated Press

A girl with sore lips has been banned from taking ChapStick lip balm to school – because it's seen as an 'over-the-counter drug'.

Grace Karaffa, 11, has suffered from chapped lips for years. They get so dry they bleed but her school has refused to allow her to use the medicated limp balm because of fears of spreading infection.

After a particularly painful episode, Grace was refused ChapStick and had to wet her cracking lips in the bathroom sink.

It was the last straw so she decided to it was time to take action.

She started a petition which received over 300 signatures, and presented it in front of the school board at Stuarts Draft Elementary School in Virginia last week.

Grace asked the board to consider changing the policy, calling it 'inappropriate'.

Her dad, David, said: "I don't believe there is anything inside a generic ChapStick that would be classified as a drug. We would like the exception to be made so that kids in school can carry ChapStick."

After Grace addressed the school board, one member said the lip balm could be considered a distraction in class.

But Grace replied: "I think it would be more distracting to have bleeding lips while I'm doing my work."

The school board is now reviewing Grace's petition. Assistant Superintendent George Earhart said the policy concerning lip balm was put in place after a disease outbreak.

He said: "Our policy is not to be so restrictive. It is really a protection for the students."

Elementary School students can still use ChapStick, but they must first obtain a doctor's note, and then it must be kept in the nurse's office and applied there.

The school shares a space with a nursery and there are also fears that the tubes could be accidentally passed to the small children.