Teacher gifts: Why it's OK to give alcohol

When the LCBO put an ad on their website advertising their gift cards as a great teacher gift from students, Ian wonders why some parents were outraged.

Ian Mendes: Alcohol as a teacher giftThere was quite a controversy this week when the LCBO ran an advertisement on their website suggesting that kids could purchase one of their gift cards as a year-end present for teachers.

“Thank your teacher for a great year with an LCBO gift card,” the advertisement read.

The ad was quickly pulled down, after a number of parents complained that it was inappropriate for a liquor store to directly target minors in an advertising campaign. Some parents did not like the fact that the advertisement included a fake chalkboard with the letters “ABC” printed on it – making it seem like it was geared toward children.

But in my opinion, I don’t believe the LCBO was targeting minors with this campaign. The advertisement was running on their website. I don’t know about your kids, but mine aren’t constantly refreshing the LCBO website to see the latest deals on Jamaican spiced rum. If the LCBO was running a series of advertisements on children’s websites, I’d take an issue with this approach.

They are clearly targeting the parents with this advertising campaign. And when they say ‘Thank your teacher’, they are referring to your child’s teacher.

Giving a teacher a bottle of wine or a gift card for alcohol is completely acceptable. As a parent, I certainly appreciate a cold beer if I’ve had a particularly frustrating day of looking after the kids. So I’m absolutely certain that a kindergarten teacher would love a bottle of wine after spending nine months looking after 25 ankle-biters. I know that if I was in charge of a kindergarten class, I’d be looking for a bottle around lunch time on the first day.

And if the teacher doesn’t drink alcohol, they can certainly re-gift the present or use it bring a bottle of wine to a dinner party.

For those parents who believe that bringing alcohol to school sends a bad message, maybe you shouldn’t buy them a box of Turtles either. After all, giving chocolates as a gift could promote bad health as well. But don’t worry, I’m sure the teacher will love it when your child comes in with your uber-healthy gift of quinoa rolled in flax seed.

You could always play it safe and buy one of those “No. 1 Teacher” mugs that are often handed out at this time of year. And while that is totally fine, there is nothing wrong with buying your child’s teacher something to go inside of that mug – even if it’s alcohol.

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