Sunday, June 10, 2007


School Defends Serving 6th-Graders Gin

‘An Ohio charter school that emphasizes African history and culture served gin to sixth graders at a graduation ceremony and state education officials said they plan to investigate.

Four students were given a teaspoon of gin mixed with water in a ceremony modeled on a Ghanian rite of passage event, said Kwa David Whitaker, a Phoenix Village Academy official.

The ritual was intended to teach truthfulness, said Whitaker, who oversaw the Tuesday ceremony.

The students were blindfolded, giving them the uncertain feeling that goes with moving from one stage of life to another, he said. Each student was given a teaspoon of water and a teaspoon of the gin-water mix, and then asked to identify which contained water.

The students recognized that the gin wasn’t water and spit it out before swallowing, Whitaker said. The point is to teach the children to be honest, he said.’

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