LINDEN (WWJ/AP) – A superintendent says a Genesee County teacher gave non-alcoholic beer to a classroom of fifth graders as part of a history lesson.

Superintendent Ed Koledo said the teacher allowed students at Hyatt Elementary School in Linden to sample O’Doul’s that was brought to school by a student to represent ale commonly consumed in the 1700s because of the scarcity of clean water.

School officials sent a letter home Friday to inform parents about what happened during class on March 6. In the letter, Principal Vicki Malkaravage explained that the teacher thought O’Doul’s was “OK to use” because it is sold as a non-alcoholic malt beverage. She said students were offered a small taste of the beverage, but not forced to drink it.

Koledo told the Flint Journal that the teacher, who he declined to identified, made a mistake.

“We talked to the teacher and said this was an inappropriate choice,” he said. “There were a lot better choices to represent a colonial-era drink than what was chosen here.”

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

No one has been charged in the case.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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