If you ask a couple dozen freshmen in a small Utah town to create recruitment posters for ISIS, it tends to stir up controversy. Who knew? The AP reports a first-year teacher at Salem Junior High School did exactly that with her world civics class this week. The assignment listed "eight reasons why young Muslims join ISIS" then asked students to draw a "terrorism propaganda poster," according to KUTV. The AP notes the poster was to be "neat, colored, professional." The assignment was given to 60 or so students Wednesday, and the school promptly received four complaints from parents, KUTV reports. One parent tells the station he was concerned his 14-year-old son was going to end up on some terrorist watch list after researching the assignment online.
The stated purpose of the assignment was "to help students understand the goals of terrorist groups and the methods they use to gain support," KUTV reports. And school district spokesperson Lana Hiskey says the unnamed teacher was trying to teach students about the dangers of propaganda. According to the AP, the class had been discussing the use of propaganda during WWII. The assignment was withdrawn after parents complained, and the school apologized Thursday. "We don't want students going on the Internet and looking up terrorist things," Hiskey tells KUTV. No disciplinary action is planned for the teacher, the AP reports. A disclaimer on the assignment said any student who was uncomfortable with it could ask for an alternative.