A Florida middle school teacher has been fired for giving students a survey school officials said was inappropriate, WFTS-TV in Tampa reports.
Students at Fox Chapel Middle School in Spring Hill were asked to circle responses to questions asking about their comfort level in certain hypothetical situations. Those situations included being approached by a group of young black men on the street, being in a gay bar, and finding out your new suite mates are Mexican. Other scenarios involved sitting next to a young Arab man on an airplane, dealing with a panhandling homeless man and finding out the new pastor at your church is a woman. The survey was a supplemental assignment.
The New York Post also picked up on the story and provided a statement from the Hernando County School District.
“The teacher did leave a supplemental assignment for students to complete in her absence,” the statement said. “In no way, does this assignment meet the standards of appropriate instructional material. After being made aware of the survey, school administration began an investigation and took immediate disciplinary action.”
The district did not identify the teacher.
Jennifer Block, mother of a 12-year-old who was given the survey, was interviewed by WFTS about her problems with it. ” ‘How comfy are you if you see a group of black men walking to you on the street?’ That’s completely inappropriate. In no world, whatsoever, is that OK to question a child on.”
Sixth-grader Tori Drews called the survey “completely intolerable.” Drews said she got the assignment in her Leader In Me class in which students are learning about accepting people’s differences. “There were children that were saying this is wrong. ‘Why are we doing this?’ ‘Does this have a reason?’ ”
District officials said the teacher began working at the middle school in January. She was still under her probationary period when they fired her, officials said.