Teachers Face Criticism From Parents After Giving Children Candy Packaged Like Drugs

A faculty member from a South Carolina college has been forced to apologize after she packaged up M&Ms in prescription pill bottles and gave them out to young children during a school fun run. Oblivious to the outrage her actions would cause, the unnamed teacher called the candy ‘Happy Pills,’ in an attempt to advertise for her medical technology program at Horry Georgetown Technical College, East Conway.

When horrified parents began contacting the fun run organisers, the college released a statement, writing: "While we know this professor meant the candy to serve as a treat, the method of distribution may have confused pre-school children whose parents have taught them not to take pills from pharmaceutical bottles.”

The pill bottles have been described as standard issue with custom labels. The labels instruct "A Great Kid" to "Take 1 m&m every 2 to 4 hours." One of the children’s mothers, Tiffany Myers, talked to WMBF, an NBC station in Myrtle Beach, about the incident, saying: "I know they had good intentions, but maybe it should have been handled in a different way." Mrs. Myers described how her husband, who works as a firefighter and paramedic, regularly encounters children with drug problems, telling WMBF how he "comes across children that get into medicine bottles quite frequently, and it can be very damaging, or it can be life-threatening."

The controversial M&M incident is not the first time candy giveaways have been ruined by provocative packaging. Another candy giveaway in Oceanside, California, was brought to the attention of KGTV when one mother, Sydney Durkovich, discovered her son bringing home strangely wrapped candy after school.

Ms. Durkovich noticed the candy packaging was similar to a blister of pills, asking, Jack, her 11-year-old son, what they were, telling KGTV her reaction - "My jaw dropped. I'm like, 'Jack, what is this?'" while Jack enthusiastically told a reporter: “My mom was like, 'No, this is not OK.'"

Jack’s fifth-grade teacher had given the elementary school students a blister pack of skittles to celebrate their last day of school at Oceanside’s Lake Elementary School. After she discovered the blister pack of skittles, Ms. Durkovich was quick to point out that the teacher was sending a bad message about prescription pills and drug use, saying: "Kids are very impressionable. I just don't know what she was trying to teach."

Ms. Durkovich took it upon herself to contact the Lake Elementary School’s administration about the incident, emailing the school’s principal, the school district and Jack’s fifth-grade teacher, asking about the candy giveaway and why a medical blister was used to package the skittles.

At this stage, only one administrator from the school district has responded to Ms. Durkovich’s email, telling her that they will be looking into the incident for more information. With drug use on the rise across the U.S., it’s more important than ever that your children and teenagers are well informed about the dangers of illegal and legal drugs.

Source: NBC News, ABC 10 News
Photo: WLBT 3/Twitter

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