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Mich. teacher gives 5th graders non-alcoholic beer

Bottles of various brands of non-alcohol

LINDEN, Mich. (AP) -- A Michigan teacher made a poor choice by giving non-alcoholic beer to a class of fifth graders in a history lesson, a school official said.

Superintendent Ed Koledo said the teacher allowed Hyatt Elementary students in Linden to sample O'Doul's that had been brought to school by a student March 6 to represent ale common in the 1700s. The students were told that many people drank ale at the time because water was sometimes dirty or unhealthy.

"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 a small taste but none were forced to try the non-alcoholic beer, school officials said. Koledo, who didn't identify the teacher, 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 parents on Friday informing them of what happened, The Flint Journal reported ( http://bit.ly/1kZSamt ). The teacher thought O'Doul's would be OK because the label said it was a non-alcoholic beverage, according to the letter. Three students in the class also took a bottle home, she said.

O'Doul's is advertised as non-alcoholic beer, but it contains a small amount of alcohol. Liquor Control Commission spokeswoman Andrea Miller says giving O'Doul's or similar drinks to minors can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor in Michigan.

No one has been charged.

Koledo described the teacher as a "very responsible person" who didn't intend to expose students to harm. The student who brought the beer won't 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."


Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.mlive.com/flint

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jurmik March 20 2014 at 7:55 AM

My father brought back from Russia a big bottle of Stocliznaya, my brother and I had a drink of it at ages 6 and 10, we grew up to be good human beings.

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doncinnh March 20 2014 at 9:21 AM

Beer was the drink of choice for hundreds of year in Europe. The water was contaminated and polluted so badly that it would kill you. Even the pilgrims drank beer ! A small sample by the teacher should not evoke such an out cry.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
ervic5 March 20 2014 at 11:15 AM

Better that than Coke or Pepsi! That teacher is obviously ahead of the curve. Giv'em a raise and pass the bottle!

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Greg March 20 2014 at 9:26 AM

Geez people. You have to drink 11 of these to get the same amount of alcohol as you find in one Budweiser. A sip from one of these is like a few drops of Budweiser. It's not going to hurt any children.

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1 reply
codyjrobinson Greg March 20 2014 at 9:53 AM

shoot, my grand dad gave me straight whiskey younger than that. What's the big deal? I am glad none of the parents went crazy. Who hasn't had some sort of alcohol (even a sip) at that age?

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1 reply
Judith codyjrobinson March 20 2014 at 10:11 AM

Some people rub a little whiskey on the gums of teething babies - it soothes the soreness and calms the baby. My maternal grandmother must have done it for my mother because it carried down through generations - her grandmother might have done it for her, she did it for my mother, my mother did it for me, I did it for my kids, they did it for their kids, and their kids are doing it for my great-grandchildren. And there isn't a single person in my family who is anywhere near being an alcoholic - in fact, most of them don't even drink alcohol.

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peach2man March 20 2014 at 9:28 AM

It will not happen again ,mistakes are made get over with it and if it was Detroit the kids deal with a lot worse things than non alcoholic drinks.

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Hey Emily March 20 2014 at 9:29 AM

Its about time that SOMEONE did not have to say to the world "I am Sorry" and then lose their job....we have had too much of that crap! It was poor judgement but we ARE all capable of having that in our lives at sometime so ...great! Good ending to the story!

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1 reply
dolliedeaton Hey Emily March 20 2014 at 9:54 AM


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mountainlora March 20 2014 at 9:49 AM

Just about everyone here is missing the point entirely.

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1 reply
dolliedeaton mountainlora March 20 2014 at 9:53 AM

ok. what's the point that is being missed? It seems to me that there are several here, including a good history lesson. Gives people a little bit different look at the pilgrims if they look close enough.

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boyd944s March 20 2014 at 10:50 AM

Outrageous! The teacher should have served non-alcoholic WINE instead, also known as grape juice. This story is just ridiculous and so is anyone who tries to make something of it.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
bkblue517 March 20 2014 at 10:10 AM

Always someone wanting a person to lose their job! A simple mistake was made. When it says non-alcoholic, I believe it does not contain alcohol. I guess a lot more people know more about beer than I do. Most people who do drink alcohol seem to know all about alcohol content! It is not a big deal but some people want to make it a big deal. Some people just love it when there is conflict going on! The school addressed the problem, it is no one else's business, now move on!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
AMY March 20 2014 at 10:29 AM

Misleading Headline....If you stir the pot you should have to lick the spoon AOL.
Let this story die.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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