The San Francisco, Calif., school district said it would pull the Narconon Drug Prevention & Education program from local schools unless program administrators revise the curriculum, which critics say incorporates the beliefs of the Church of Scientology, the San Francisco Chronicle reported June 10.
“The fact that Narconon is addressing drugs is a positive,” said San Francisco schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman. “But some of the facts that they were teaching the kids support a philosophical or religious belief, as opposed to science, so we had to say ‘no.'”
According to Ackerman, Narconon administrators have until June 24 to revise the sections of the curriculum that make generalizations about drugs, particularly claims that the body stores drugs indefinitely in fat, causing cravings and flashbacks until “sweated” out.
Tony Bylsma, Narconon’s education director, said the group has not decided whether or how to comply with the district’s order. “We don’t want to desert the kids,” he said.
If the organization fails to comply, Narconon would be removed from the list of programs approved for use in San Francisco schools. The program has been in the city’s schools for 13 years.