Middle School Cocaine Trade Assignment Enrages Dallas Parent

By McCarton Ackerman 12/17/15

Did a Dallas area school really give sixth graders a blueprint on how to become a drug dealer?

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Enraged parents of a Dallas-Fort Worth middle school student are speaking out over what they felt was a very adult homework assignment that explained how to become a cocaine dealer.

The unnamed 11-year-old, a student at Bear Creek Intermediate in the town of Keller, was given a “Following a Sequence” homework assignment for his class. But the assignment entitled, "The Cocaine Trade: From Field to Street” enraged his father, Scott Pick. The assignment chronicled the supply chain of how cocaine makes its ways from cartels to the streets and asked students to think “critically,” but Pick viewed it as a step-by-step tutorial for unlawful behavior.

Pick also objected to specific data in the assignment that involved monetary values. The sheet had information including that “large distributors buy cocaine from cartel for $25,000 per killer,” and that cocaine purchased for $50,000 can be sold for $87,000 on the streets.

“I felt like they were giving my kid a diagram of how to become a drug dealer,” he said. “A sixth-grade science class is not the place to be using the cocaine trade as an applicable example. Right now, I just don’t think it was age-appropriate for [my son].” Pick also revealed that he refused to let his son complete the assignment.

The Keller school district ultimately decided to pull the assignment for the time being. They released a statement to local outlet CBS 11, declaring they take “the issue of drug abuse very seriously, and as such, allocates multiple resources to combat abuse through drug education and intervention.”

They also vowed to review the study sheet before deciding whether to continue to use it, noting that “the district will continue its concerted efforts to review, remind, and revise drug educational material on a regular basis.”

Perhaps ironically, the school district received a $100,000 drug prevention this month for a community coalition task force.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.