POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Parents of a few kindergarteners at Point Pleasant Primary School were shocked when their children brought home prescription pill bottles from school. The teacher gave the bottles, empty except for a few small pebbles inside, to students for a class project.
“As soon as we got in [the car], he pulled it out and I was just like, ‘I cannot believe this. What is that?’” Chad Spurlock, the father of a kindergartener, said. “And he said, you know, the teacher gave it to him.”
Brady, Spurlock’s 5-year-old son, said the bottle was part of his homework assignment.
“They were supposed to go out, collect pebbles, bring them back in, and write a small description about the color and texture and their favorite one,” Carley Holley, Brady’s mother, said.
The issue for these parents, though, is safety.
"Fortunately, we would talk to our children about safety and medications, you don't play with bottles,” Holley said. “But other children may not know the difference between, ‘Well, my teacher gave me a pill bottle, so it's okay to go home and get in the cabinet and play with another prescription bottle."
Holley and Spurlock keep their medication and their children’s medications in plastic bags in a box on the top shelf of a hallway closet. They said they tell the children not to touch pills or bottles.
“In a day and age where we really try to keep our children away from drugs, introducing a prescription pill bottle to a 5-year-old at school raised some red flags with us,” Holley said.
The couple immediately went to the school to talk to the teacher and the principal. They say the teacher told them again about the project and said she has done it in years past, with no complaints from parents. Still, Brady’s parents said they’re concerned, especially with the prevalence of prescription drug abuse in the area.
“I feel that especially in the small town that we live in and the county that we live in, where prescription drug abuse runs rampant, that introducing a child at such a small age to something like that is probably not the best idea,” Holley said.
“You just don't introduce little kids to stuff like that. That's wrong, that's teaching them that it's okay,” Spurlock said.
WSAZ.com reached out to the school for comment and was directed to the Mason County superintendent’s office. As of Thursday evening, the superintendent and school had not commented on the situation to WSAZ.com.