A 5th grade teacher found themselves in hot water after they allowed their class of students to sample non-alcoholic beer during a history lesson, a school official said.
Superintendent Ed Koledo said the teacher allowed Hyatt Elementary students in Linden, Mich. To sample O’Doul’s that had been brought to the school by a student on March 6 to represent common ale in the 1700s. The students were told that many people drank ale at that time because the water was sometimes unhealthy or dirty to drink.
“We talked to the teacher and said this was an inappropriate choice,” Koledo said. “There were a lot better choices to represent a colonial-era drink than what was chosen here.”
The students were allowed to take a small taste but none were forced to drink the non-alcoholic beer, school officials said. The Michigan teacher was not identified though Koledo said allowing non-alcoholic beer into the classroom and allowing students to drink it was a mistake.
Hyatt Principal Vicki Malkaravage sent a letter to the parents of the students on Friday informing them of what had taken place, The Flint Journal reported. The 5th grade teacher supposedly thought O’Douls’s would be OK because the label said it was a non-alcoholic beverage, according to the letter sent. She also said that three of the students took home a bottle of the non-alcoholic beverage.
O’Doul’s is advertised as non-alcoholic beer, though it contains a small amount of alcohol. Liquor Control Commission spokesperson Andrea Millers says giving O’Doul’s or similar drinks to minors can be charged as a misdemeanor in Michigan.
The 5th grade teacher responsible nor the school was charged.
Koledo described the teacher as being a “very responsible person” who didn’t intend to expose their students to any harm. The students who brought the beer home will not be disciplined.
“Nobody complained to the teacher, principal or me,” Koledo said. “We monitored the situation the next day. It was a dead topic so we just left it at that.”