Pubdate: Wed, 18 Dec 2002
Source: Flamborough Post (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002, Flamborough Post
Author: Irene Gentle


Hamilton teacher was responding to class question, says board spokesperson

A Hamilton Grade 6 class received an unusual lesson earlier this year. But 
the ABCs of snorting cocaine is not a part of the regular curriculum, says 
a board spokesperson.

Still, a controversial lesson on just that took place earlier this year at 
Chedoke Middle School during a province-wide substance use and abuse course.

It made headlines recently after a mother of a child in the class was 
shocked to hear what her daughter had been learning in school.

But Hamilton Wentworth District School Board Media Relations Officer Jane 
Allison said the lesson, which involved the drawing of a circle to 
represent a mirror, dots to represent the powder and the gathering the dots 
to form lines, was the result of a child's question rather than a 
stipulated part of the lesson plan.

"It was not part of the class program," she said.

The teacher, said Allison, was "making reference to that the drug is a 
powder absorbed through the mucus membranes."

A student asked how, and the teacher felt it best to answer.

"The teacher responded properly and appropriately to a student's question," 
she said. "These are bright kids. You have got to treat them with respect."

The course is part of a health and physical education course that begins in 
Grade 1 and tackles more sophisticated subjects as the children age. It is 
mandated by the province.

At Chedoke, Allison said only two phone calls were logged in from upset 
parents, all of whom are warned in a letter about the subject matter 
covered. The calls referred to different portions of the course.

There are 160 kids taking the class in that school.

Board-wide, Allison said she has not heard parents object to the lessons, 
which are aimed at preventing drug use and abuse through information.
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