School officials in Linden are calling the move "an inappropriate choice", after a teacher at Hyatt Elementary gave fifth grade students O'Doul's, a non-alcoholic beverage sometimes referred to as "near beer."

In a letter sent home on Friday, Superintendent Ed Koledo explained to parents that the fifth grade teacher allowed her students to sample the beverage as part of a history lesson in which students were studying the Colonial period. It represented an ale which was common in the 1700s, when clean drinking water was not readily available.

The teacher, who Koledo declined to name when he spoke with The Flint Journal, thought O'Doul's was "OK to use" because it is labeled as a non-alcoholic beverage. But since the product contains up to 0.5% alcohol, it is a misdemeanor to give the beverage to minors.

The student who brought the beverage to school will not be punished. Koledo declined to say if the teacher has, or will face disciplinary action.

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- George McIntyre
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