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Uh-Oh: Lazy Parental Beer-Drinking Promotes "Positive Attitude" Toward Drugs


July 1993

An anti-drug curriculum used in Connecticut public schools and in hundreds of other school districts nationwide leads children to mistrust and monitor parents, according to Dana Mack, author of a book on the cultural environment of childhood (Dana Mack, "War On Drugs? War On Parents," Wall Street Journal, 6/17/93, No page cite).

The curriculum, titled "Here's Looking At You, 2000," is designed as a health-education program. But Mack and her husband became concerned one evening when their second-grader asked them if they were alcoholics because they occasionally consume wine with dinner. According to Mack:

"... [E]arlier that day a cuddly little puppet named Miranda had told the second-graders a story about her 'Uncle Bud.' Like most of us, Uncle Bud occasionally loses his patience with the younger generation. But only, claims little Miranda, when he has had a bottle of beer.

Our daughter informed us not to worry that she had noticed our 'habit.' 'Lots of people,' she said, 'can help alcoholics and their families.'

'Surely not children, though,' countered my husband, in disbelief.

'Oh, yes,' our daughter replied confidently. 'If a child tells a teacher or a friend, they will find someone to help.'

Further revelations led Mack and her husband to pull their daughter from the curriculum. "In the war on drugs launched by the 'Here's Looking At You, 2000' curriculum, parents -- not pushers -- are the enemy," she noted. "Parents are purported to transmit 'positive attitudes' towards drug use and to 'involve' their children in it. How? According to the teacher's guide, when they request children 'to bring a beer from the refrigerator.'"