A teacher at the Hyatt Elementary school in Linden, MI allowed her fifth grade students to sample O’Doul’s non-alcoholic beer, that had been “brought to school by a student, to represent ale common in the 1700’s.”
The class had been studying the colonial period, where they learned that the colonials drank ale due to the unhealthy and sometimes dirty water and that there was a “limited availability of other drinks,” said superintendent, Ed Koledo according to the mlive.com news report on March 18. “Beer was actually one of the staple drinks” he said.
According to the letter from Hyatt Elementary principal, Vicki Malkaravage, that was sent home with the students, the unidentified teacher thought O’Doul’s was “OK to use” due to the label, claiming it to be a non-alcoholic malt beverage.
Koledo also commented that “allowing non-alcoholic beer into the classroom and allowing students to drink it was a mistake." “We spoke to the teacher and said this was an inappropriate choice. There were a lot better choices to represent a colonial-era drink than what was chosen here."
Three of the students brought home a bottle of O’Doul’s, and the other students were all allowed a “small taste” if they wished.
None of the parents had complained to the teacher or the principal, and Koledo said, “We monitored the situation the next day. It was a dead topic so we just left it at that.”
Spokeswoman, Andrea Miller, from the Liquor Control Commission said, “giving ODoul’s or similar drinks to minors can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor in Michigan.” As of this date, no charges have been filed.