News & Politics

Florida teacher fired for issuing test about bias towards LGBT and other minorities

A newly-hired sixth grade teacher gave the How Comfortable Am I? assignment to her class at Fox Chapel Middle School in Spring Hill, Florida. Students were asked to indicate how comfortable they would be in a variety of situations, including being approached by a group of young black men, sharing a room with a Jewish person, or being invited to a gay bar.

Other hypothetical situations included having an HIV-positive dentist, sitting next to an Arab man on an airplane, having a gay roommate, or finding out your sister’s new boyfriend is transgender.

The Hernando County School District deemed the material inappropriate, however, and said in a statement: “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.”

One student – who was given the test – said she received it during a ‘Leader In Me’ class that was designed to teach kids about accepting differences in others.

She said: “I thought some of them were racist. I thought some of them were sexist. I thought it was completely intolerable. There were children that were saying this is wrong. ‘Why are we doing this?’ ‘Does this have a reason?’ [Our teacher] was going, ‘Yeah this is kind of wrong… maybe I should take it back’.

“Kids were asking if they could share it with their parents. She was like, ‘No, don’t show your mom. Don’t take that home. I’m taking it back’.”

The questionnaire came from the book Exploring White Privilege by author and philosophy professor Robert P. Amico, who also penned a book called Anti-Racist Teaching to encourage discussions of race in classrooms.

via Gay Times
photo: WTSP-TV