Teen suspended after selling non-diet pop from his locker
Published Wednesday, September 17, 2014 7:57AM EDT
The entrepreneurial skills of an Alberta teenager are making headlines after he was suspended for selling non-diet pop out of his school locker.
Keenan Shaw, 17, didn't think he was doing anything wrong when he started selling Pepsi to his friends and classmates at Winston Churchill High School in Lethbridge, Alta.
He said he started selling regular pop because his school only allows diet pop. Shaw figured, if he wanted regular pop, other students probably would want one too.
But Shaw's operation was soon shut down by school officials who told him to stop, issued a warning and then briefly suspended him last week.
Lethbridge School District Supt. Cheryl Gilmore said there are many factors to consider when suspending a student and it would be unreasonable to keep Shaw out of the class for an extended period of time.
"Students have it explained to them why they need to follow certain rules, and then we're hopeful that like any other public institution, that the people who are in that institution kind of understand that those have to be followed," she told CTV Calgary.
She also said that the district has specific policies for advertising, distribution, and merchandising within schools.
But Shaw told CTV Calgary that he simply saw a good business opportunity and ran with it. He even started accepting IOUs as payment for the pop until school officials told him to stop.
Shaw's short-lived business made local and national headlines. And then it made its way onto late-night TV.
Comedian and late-night TV talk show host Seth Meyers recently poked fun at Shaw's punishment.
"A student at a Canadian high school was suspended for illegally selling Pepsi out of his locker to other students. It's being called the worst crime in Canadian history," Meyers joked.
As for Shaw, he said the attention was kind of funny at first, but he never thought it would go beyond the local community.
"I thought it was pretty funny. I didn't think it would go beyond local stuff… it's gotten a lot bigger than I thought it would," he said.