An Ontario mother is outraged after her 13-year-old son was handed instructions for making and injecting crystal meth as part of a drama class assignment.
Image: Radspunk/Wikimedia Commons
As reported by the CBC, the incident took place at Erin Mills Middle School in Mississauga, Ontario. "I popped a blood vessel," said the boy's mother, Delight Greenidge, in an interview with the public broadcaster. "I was in a state of shock... I'm thinking this cannot be real."
According to Greenidge's son, the unnamed Year 8 teacher printed out the instructions as part of an acting assignment, and instructed the students to "act scared" when making the drug, and to "act happy" when injecting it.
Strangely, the teacher thought it appropriate to provide the actual instructions for producing methamphetamine, otherwise known as crystal meth. The document apparently provided such instructions as, "Give your arms a wipe with alcohol wipes... or use a wet wipe, this is to prevent any bacteria infection." Given how difficult it is to cook crystal meth, it's unlikely the students would have tried to do it themselves. But the decision to provide injection instructions, while having the students portray a user as being "happy", is a clear display of poor judgement.
"It's mind-boggling. It could undo a lot of what I taught him because sometimes he would think the things the teacher says are sometimes more important than the things mum says," Greenidge told the CBC. "They do have that influence and impact."
"The curriculum is the curriculum," Carla Pereira, manager of communications for the Peel District School Board, said in a conversation with Gizmodo. "But how teachers instruct the class is up to them." That said, Pereira said the school board has no specific policies about such matters, but expects teachers to assign materials that are both age and grade appropriate. She couldn't speak to the rationale behind the teacher's decision to use the materials, but said the incident was "shocking and inappropriate".
According to Pereira, the teacher made the recommendation to a student who was struggling to come up an idea for the assignment, and he acquired the instructions on the internet. The teacher has been suspended without pay, and the school board is now conducting an investigation. For privacy reasons, Pereira wouldn't disclose the name of the teacher, or comment on whether or not they had any prior history of problematic behaviour.