Alpine 5th Graders' Art Project to Paint Wine Glasses, Beer Steins Roils Parents

An elementary school art project using wine glasses and beer steins has some parents angry in a small community near San Diego.

The students in one Alpine Elementary classroom were instructed to paint the glasses as part of an annual fundraiser on May 2.

The glasses will then be sold at the Alpine Education Foundation gala, an event spearheaded by a volunteer group made up of mostly parents who support the district.

Kristen Gauss received an invitation to the gala and was miffed to find a mention of the wine glasses and steins.

“It’s a mixed message,” she said. “We spend so much time telling our kids … don’t do drugs and alcohol and here we have young impressionable children painting on wine glasses."

Colin Campbell, the volunteer group’s president, said he simply did not think through the art project. He said he didn't seek out permission from the principal or the school superintendent.

“I look at the medium of the art itself and see the beauty of it,” he said. “However, I understand why there could be concern and controversy involved and I’m sorry for that.”

School superintendent Bruce Cochrane also apologized on Wednesday, saying a lapse in oversight played a role. He agreed that having students paint anything associated with alcohol is against district policy.

“This was just a situation where if we’d sat down and talked about it together, it wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

Even so, the glasses will be sold at the gala next month and are expected to go quickly.

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