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Here's the scene:  

A woman walks into her grandson’s fourth-grade classroom in Tampa, Florida.
On the top of each student's desk is a bottle of pills .  

When Grandma asked the teacher to explain, she said the bottles were filled with mint candy  and that this activity was designed to help the kids "mellow out" before they began their annual standardized testing.  

Grandma, who is now irate, heads straight to the school Principal claiming that the activity was irresponsible; that linking pill bottles to relaxation flies in the face of the school's anti drug campaign, whether they‘re filled with mints, or not.  

Apparently, the writing on the bottle reads:  

 "Watson's Whiz Kid Pharmacy. Take 1 tablet by mouth EVERY 5 MINUTES to cure FCAT jitters. Repeated use may cause craft to spontaneously ooze from pores. No refills. Ms. (Deborah) Falcon's authorization required."

So the Principal meets with the students of the fourth grade, on the following Monday, to confirm that the pill bottles do not contain drugs; just yummy mints that were safe to eat.  

And then she asked the students to dump the mints in a separate container and the pill bottles were thrown away.  

The Principal explained to concerned parents that the pill bottle idea was tied to a children's book, "George's Marvelous Medicine,"  a story about a boy who concocts potions to try to change the disposition ( and this is not a joke) of his cranky grandmother.  

The Principal assured the parents that the only goal of this activity was to get the students to take a few of their mint "pills" before the testing began, and relax.    

“Elementary teachers do creative things to make learning fun.", the Principal said.

Gotta love that out of the box thinking, right?    

What say you?   Do you  think this activity sends an inappropriate message to a class of ten year olds?  

This Tampa elementary school would tell you to;  "Take a chill pill, and relax!"

Laurie Zieber is the founder of She Speaks To Inspire, LLC and The Real Life Radio Network.
A period of time, Laurie refers to as her, "Search and Destroy Mission" brought about lasting and meaningful change in her life and career.
The intentional and relentless pursuit of authenticity and personal responsibility, continues to transform her life.
From her faith to her finances; Laurie's willingness to share the experience, transparently, through her writing and public speaking, inspires and dares women all over the planet to begin their own, authentic, Search and Destroy Missions; and watch their lives be transformed.
Learn more about Laurie's inspired initiatives at [Link Removed]


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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      007pouty wrote Apr 7, 2010
    • Hmm, I can see grandma’s point.  But, I think if the children are relating it to a story and it entertains, they learn, and relax for those tests.  It doesn’t hurt.  You‘re not teaching them to take pills to relax.  You‘re entertaining and putting it with a story they have read.  I’d vote that it was an inventive idea and let the kids express what they feel about it.  They may have gotten some interesting answers!estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Apr 7, 2010
    • I feel it is irresponsible.
      Some kids, at that age, if not parented properly will see it as ‘_take pill to relax_ ’ Especially if there is drug use at home or around them in any way.

      The same thing could have been done by using pez containers at each desk. Kids love em and that would have helped far better than medicinal bottles that they may see in their home.

      IMHO



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Coralee Flug wrote Apr 7, 2010
    • I think teachers have an incredibly tough job. 4th graders are exposed to tons of “pills” on TV - media and drug companies make sure we all are.  

      I can understand the Grandma’s first reaction but maybe she should have sat in on the class for a week and she would be welcoming any creative ways to help the kids stay on task.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Laurie Zieber wrote Apr 7, 2010
    • A related story I read told that a Sam’s store passed out pill bottles of candy to mark the opening of their pharmacy.  

      It’s interesting to me. My mom was a very creative, second grade teacher but remember those candy cigarettes?  

      Nothin' doin'!  (which is Texas for, "My mom said no!")



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Apr 7, 2010
    • Oh yes candy cigarette’s my staple purchase as a small child off my grandparents and I used to sit with my cousins copying my nana smoking while watching TV ..... yes I now smoke !



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Laurie Zieber wrote Apr 7, 2010
    • Vicki,  

      Within your story lies the reason for the Grandma’s fear!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Apr 7, 2010
    • Ya know Vicki, same here. My dad smoked and I would smoke my candy ones to be like dad.

      I smoked from 14 off and on until I was 42. Now almost 4 yrs smoke free and it is not easy!  

      I agree with grandma! bad bad bad idea



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Apr 7, 2010
    • I saw a statistic where they said 60% of women who had a smoker as a parent went onto smoke!
      Also why do people associate taking a cigarette / drink/ pill / weed with relaxing /chilling – surely mental stillness and an inner calmness would be best taught to children rather than them thinking it's cool to pop a pill when stressed



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Angelcart wrote Apr 8, 2010
    • I would have been like the grandma.  I think that's totally  sending kids the wrong message.  Why put it in a medicine bottle???  Kids CAN get into kid-proof medicine bottles.  Why not put the candy in a small box that they decorated (which is relaxing, a bag, etc.)and give them a piece before they get started on whatever.  You know if the teacher gave them candy cig's the parents would be in a uproar over that, so why not a "pill bottle"........



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Apr 8, 2010
    • I think that this was a bit overly creative. If this was a math exercise it would probably receive different reaction from the grandma, but with the “chill pill” I can see why she was upset.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Apr 9, 2010
    • This is a great post and one that makes you think of both sides.
      But sadly I do think it was wrong on the teachers part to encourage take a pill and relax. It would have been better to just have put the candy in a little dixie cup on each desk. And BTW sugar helps improve testing since it keeps the kids more alert.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Hbrose wrote Apr 10, 2010
    • Definitely interesting from both ends. Yes, creative and a fun gesture on the teacher’s part. But nowadays, probably not the best idea to such influential 10-year olds that must learn early on to say no to drugs and not think drugs (or even medicine) is always the answer to feeling good or better.  And kids that age might associate the pill-container as a drug related to medicine to help you feel good, more than a fun candy idea the teacher meant it for. I guess I lean towards wasn’t a good idea.  The teacher should have used something more fun and age-appropriate for that one.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Laurie Zieber wrote Apr 10, 2010
    • I think the bottom line lesson, for me, was this:  

      These teachers seem to have the characteristics that we want, and our children need in the classroom.  

      But education, creativity, dedication and passion are not enough .  

      Without the long view of wisdom, even the best intentions have  potential for a harmful, influence.    

      Can you teach wisdom or does wisdom occur through life experience? Can you teach ethics?  

      I often wonder about a first year teacher I met when my oldest son was in the 3rd grade.  

      She lacked wisdom and she lacked discernment.  

      Her actions could have caused me to lose custody of my children.  

      My son is 27 years old now, so she must be in her mid 30’s.  

      I wonder if she is wiser.  I know I am .  

      I’ll tell you the story in the next column.  

      P.S. Thanks for the warm welcome back.  You are  fabulous.  You truly are.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Apr 10, 2010
    • I think it would have been better packaged in a different way. I think it sends a wrong message that there’s a pill to fix anything - even if it’s just candy.



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