California Orders Probe of Narconon Program

California Schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell has ordered the state Department of Education to investigate Narconon Drug Prevention and Education, an anti-drug program being used by schools throughout the state whose curriculum has been linked to the teachings of the Church of Scientology, the San Francisco Chronicle reported June 17.

The program has been used in schools across the United States for more than two decades, but some addiction experts contend that Narconon’s medical theories reflect the teachings of the Church of Scientology and are not scientifically accurate.

“We have an obligation to inform school districts of potentially inaccurate and misleading information being distributed,” O’Connell said. “We’ll start following this. We can send a memo to all school districts with the flip of a switch.”

In California, the program has been presented in at least 20 school districts, including those in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In San Francisco, Superintendent Arlene Ackerman ordered Narconon to revise parts of its curriculum by June 24 or be banned from the district.

“Narconon is very confident that any questions the San Francisco Unified School District or the state Department of Education have will be clarified in our forthcoming presentation,” said Narconon President Clark Carr. “We have not received any questions from the state Department of Education. But we understand that the San Francisco schools and the state have concerns to ensure that the children get the best drug education — and that’s our concern, too.”