BELLE, W.Va. (AP) _ A junior high student who gave a zinc cough lozenge to a classmate was suspended from school because officials said there's no such thing as harmless medication.

``That's why they have warning labels,'' head nurse Brenda Isaac said Thursday.

Colin Dunlap was suspended for three days Wednesday from DuPont Junior High School after he was caught handing out the lozenge, said Principal Forest Mann.

School policy calls for a note from a parent for any non-prescription medication.

``Cough drops appear harmless. But none of them are,'' Isaac said.

The zinc in the cough drops can cause abdominal problems, rashes, even serious breathing problems if the person is allergic or mixes it with other medications, Isaac said.

Mann said the tablet in question, a dirty white pill with granules on it, ``wasn't a candy-colored cough drop ... It had no appearance of a cough drop at all.''

A student with a clearly identified brand-name cough drop, for example, would not have been suspended, Mann said.

Jennifer Dunlap was stunned by the school's decision to suspend her son.

``A cough drop? I think that's the most asinine thing I've ever heard,'' Ms. Dunlap said.