What kinds of things did YOU study in the sixth grade?
In one Florida public middle school, the curriculum appears to have taken a decidedly outrageous turn with the administration of a questionnaire to young students that included surprising (to say the least) questions on matters related to such sensitive topics as race, religion, and sexuality.
Not so surprising is that the teacher who assigned the questionnaire has lost her job.
According to a number of news outlets, including The Christian Post, teacher Daryl Cox (a female) apparently felt compelled, in her role as an instructor at Fox Chapel Middle School in Spring Hill, Florida, to ask her young charges complete a questionnaire entitled ‘How Comfortable Am I?’ The source of the assignment was a book called Exploring White Privilege, written by Robert Amico, a philosophy professor.
If that’s all you knew, you’d likely assume this wasn’t going to end well…and, sure enough, it didn’t.
More specifically, the questionnaire asked the kids to answer a variety of situationally-based questions, using a scale of 1-to-4, with one representative of “not comfortable at all” and four indicating an answer that meant the student was “completely comfortable” with the scenario described in the question.
Here are a few of the example questions/situations presented on the assignment:
“A friend invites you to go to a gay bar.”
“You go to a gay bar and a person of the same sex asks you to dance.”
“A group of young black men are walking toward you on the street.”
“The young man sitting next to you on an airplane is Arab.”
“Your brother's new girlfriend is a single mother on welfare.”
“Your new roommate is Jewish.”
As you might imagine parents went ballistic. It turns out that Cox was still in the midst of her probationary period as a teacher, which likely made dumping her all the easier for Hernando County. Here’s the school district’s official statement on the matter:
“In no way, did this assignment meet the standards of appropriate instructional material. After being made aware of the assignment, school administration began an investigation and has taken immediate disciplinary action. This teacher was within her probationary period and has been released from employment.”
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large