Linden Superintendent calls beer drinking incident 'an honest mistake'

<p>It was touted as a history lesson but a local teacher is being criticized for allowing students to drink beer in school as part of a lesson on colonial times.</p>

Many people are stumped about why a teacher would think it's alright to allow young kids to drink beer in school even one with very low alcohol in it. After receiving several phone calls from parents, Linden School Administrators sent a letter home last Friday apologizing to parents.

"A parent had said, hey a bottle of O'douls my student brought home a bottle of O'doul's Beer, said Superintendent Ed Koledo. How did this happen at school?"

In a letter sent home to parents, the teacher said her class, â??had a small taste of the O'douls beverageâ?? to teach students what pilgrims drank for sanitation reasons.

"At the time no one knew there was trace amounts of alcohol in the product," said Koledo.

The beer is labeled 'non alcoholic', but the school has since learned there is less than a half percent of alcohol in each bottle. Linden Community Schools didn't make parents aware of the use of beer until eight days after the lesson. They say snow days delayed notification after they learned about what happened.

"Anything like that you want to be involved in. You don't want to find out after the fact," said Linden resident Linda Zettel.

People in Linden are upset about the teacher's decision to use the beer even with the low amount of alcohol in it. State law says anyone who gives a minor "near beer" is guilty of a misdemeanor.

"That should all have been decided with the parents and administration to whether this should go forward or not,"

The school says their investigation is complete. Linden police tell nbc 25 no legal action has been sought by parents.