A ninth grade student at Romeo High School in Michigan and her father were shocked to discover a question on the teen’s biology homework that asked her to determine who, from a list of potential candidates, fathered a fictitious baby.
According to the local CBS affiliate in Detroit, the question was as follows:
Thesister of the mom above also had issues with finding out who the fatherof her baby was. She had the state take a blood test of potentialfathers. Based on the information in this table, why was the baby takenaway by the state after the test?
Possible responses to the question regarding the identification of the baby’s father included the cable guy, the mailman, the cab driver, the bartender, and the guy at the club.
“The goal is that the students are understanding blood types and DNA and possibilities based on the makeup of the two parents,” said Romeo Schools Superintendent Nancy Campbell. “But, again, this painted a picture, I think, that was not appropriate. My first thought when I saw it was that it certainly been worded better.”
The teen’s parent, Larry Basaj, called the school district to complain.
“What are they teaching… what is… I couldn’t come up with the words,” Basaj told WDIV. “I was like, ‘oh my God.’ It’s teaching them that it’s OK to not know who it is because you can have the state help ya. And if they can’t help you they are going to take your child away, and it’s not the way it is. I was beyond fired up last night.”
Basaj sent his daughter’s incomplete homework back to school with a note that read, “We teach our children not to sleep around.”
Though, according to WDIV, the school superintendent agreed that the homework was inappropriate, she also said that the three-page worksheet came from a teaching website that includes questions using “concepts the children can understand.”
Campbell said the teacher who obtained the worksheet from the teaching website has apologized.
“Teachers use all kinds of different resources that are available to them,” Campbell added. “[This incident] brings in awareness for all of our staff to, you know, be more thoughtful and reflective about the items they use when they put them on a homework assignment.”
Campbell said that only one parent complained about the assignment.
According to Caroline Schaeffer at the Independent Journal Review:
This explanation is nearly as dismaying as the question itself: where to begin? The fact that the teacher is using a web site to find problems to assign for homework? The fact that the teacher (presumably) read the homework and still assigned it to children? Or the fact that these questions are considered to include concepts easily understood by children?
“Including this type of material in a homework assignment for children effectively normalizes this type of lifestyle,” Schaeffer added. “Whether it was negligence or just laziness on the part of the teacher, this is evidence of a shameful trend in education.”