A teacher at Fox Chapel Middle School in Hernando County, Florida has been fired after parents complained that a homework assignment she gave her sixth grade students included "inappropriate" "racist" and "offensive" questions about sexual orientation, race and religion, WPTV reports.
The homework assignment was titled "How Comfortable Am I?" and asked students to rate how "comfortable" they would feel in various hypothetical situations from a scale of one ("not comfortable at all") to four ("completely comfortable").
These were the 41 scenarios, via Imgur:
The questionnaire includes scenarios like "a friend invites you to a gay bar," "your new suitemates are Mexican" and "a group of young Black men are walking towards you on the street," and some parents freaked out. Turns out they were "not comfortable at all" with the whole assignment.
"'How comfy are you if you see a group of black men walking to you on the street?' That's completely inappropriate," said Jennifer Block, whose 12-year-old daughter was in the class. "In no world, whatsoever, is that OK to question a child on."
It wasn't just parents who thought the assignment crossed a line. "I thought it was very inappropriate," said sixth grader Tori Drews, who was given the assignment. "I thought some of them were racist. I thought some of them were sexist. I thought it was completely intolerable."
"In no way, does that assignment meet the standards of appropriate instructional material," said the Hernando County School District in a statement after the teacher was fired.
Apparently the homework was handed out in a class called Leader In Me, where the kids were learning about "accepting people's differences." My guess is this teacher's intentions were good. But there must be a better way to teach acceptance than forcing sixth graders to admit they're racist, sexist or homophobic.
On a scale of one-to-four, how "comfortable" are you with this teacher getting fired over this?