by: Carl Willis Updated:
HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - A lesson at a local high school has students pretending to be drug addicts.
Students in a sociology class at Locust Grove High School in Henry County were asked to take part in a drug addiction simulation.
In the project, their teacher plays the role of a drug dealer supplying the students.
"It's absolutely inappropriate, and I find it bordering on vulgar," said parent Lori Cameron.
Cameron's daughter is in the class where students are supposed to pretend ice cubes are illegal drugs.
The instructions read: "Your drug of choice is ICEcube. Every time you take a drink of any liquid, you must have ICEcube in it. This may be difficult and require planning."
Students were also instructed to find creative ways to hide the drug use from parents and friends.
"I feel that they are handing these children the tools of addiction," said Cameron.
Channel 2's Carl Willis reached out to Dr. Michael Fishman, who specializes in youth addiction at Talbott Recovery Campus.
He says he can see the intention and the potential failures of the project.
"I can understand her concern," Fishman said in response to Cameron's remarks. "I think in reality it's not going to be this sociology class that teaches them that kind of behavior."
However, Fishman also says the simulation could make light of a catastrophic problem.
"There's other ways they can do this more effectively," he said. "Possibly not mimicking addiction and acting as if we're addicted."
Henry County Schools defended the exercise, saying students were offered an alternative assignment if they or their parents disagreed with the project.
Spokesperson JD Hardin wrote in a statement: "There was nothing about this project supporting/advocating an idea or teaching a lesson on how to be deceitful or dishonest, and there was definitely no advocating or condoning the use of illegal substances."
Cameron disagrees and says the project has no place in school.
"It's nothing to play with. It's nothing to simulate," she said. "What are we teaching our kids?"