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Journalistic Meth Fire: Teacher Suspended For Doing Their Job

  • Ben Hayward
  • Feb 24, 2017 10:28AM

Last week a story broke in Canada that would make the rounds on social media as chuckle-worthy clickbait – the headline read something along the lines of “Teacher Taught His Class How to Make and Inject Crystal Meth.” Once you clicked on the article, usually complete with a photo of Bryan Cranston in character as Walter White from Breaking Bad, it would give some vague detail about how a teacher in Canada gave his class instructions on how to cook and inject crystal meth. They usually cover the teacher’s subsequent suspension.

And sure, it’s funny. You shake your head and think, ‘What a crazy world,' and you move on.

Not me. I saw this story day after day from news outlets ranging from Vice to ABC. A surprising number of regional papers picked it up. I read every one. I can confidently declare myself the pre-eminent media expert on this particular story. What I started to notice was that they were startlingly similar. Indeed some were identical. They were all truncated versions of the story run by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, ones that left out the detail that this was part of a group assignment to prepare skits about drugs.

The story broke when Mississauga resident Delight Greenidge went to the press after learning that her son had been assigned to create and perform a skit about crystal meth. She was particularly upset when she found two pages of ‘instructions’ on how to make and take the drug, and that her son had been assigned the role of ‘injector.' She went on to say, “You teach your kids not to have any association with drugs on any level. We don’t talk about drugs in our household.”

This quote is absent from almost all coverage of this story but I think it is the most illuminating. Mrs. Greenidge not only thinks that this assignment is inappropriate but is more broadly against even the discussion of drugs at home or at school. On this basis, I’m siding with the poor suspended teacher.