The superintendent at a southeast Michigan school said a teacher’s decision to let fifth-graders sip a non-alcoholic beer as part of a history lesson on Colonial times was “a mistake.”
"We talked to the teacher and said this was an inappropriate choice," Linden Community Schools Superintendent Ed Koledo told MLive/The Flint Journal. "There were a lot better choices to represent a Colonial-era drink than what was chosen here."
The teacher, who was not named, was teaching a unit on Colonial times. A student reportedly brought a container of O’Doul’s non-alcoholic beer to school to represent the common ale many colonists drank in the 1700s when clean water was scarce and the teacher allowed the students to sample it, Koledo said.
O’Doul’s is marketed as a non-alcoholic beer and has less than 0.5 percent alcohol, according to the Anheuser-Busch website. Serving beverages with trace amounts of alcohol is a misdemeanor crime in Michigan, Liquor Control Commission spokeswoman Andrea Miller told the newspaper.
Koledo said neither he nor other school officials received any complaints about the incident, but school officials decided to send a letter home to parents after media inquires from the Flint Journal.
"Nobody complained to the teacher, principal or me," he said. "We monitored the situation the next day. It was a dead topic so we just left it at that."
In her note to parents, Hyatt Principal Vicki Malkaravage said the teacher thought it would be “OK” for students to drink O’Doul’s because it’s non-alcoholic.
Koledo did not say if the teacher will face disciplinary action.