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Parents Outraged by 'Disturbing' School Assignment

Ohio students asked to select who should escape a 'doomed' Earth
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2018 11:00 AM CDT
School has started, and parents in Ohio are upset about an assignment their kids were asked to complete.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

(Newser) – "It's disturbing all the way around." That's what one mom is saying about an assignment her eighth-grade son completed at Roberts Middle School in Cuyahoga Falls in Ohio. The assignment involved an Earth that was "doomed for destruction." Students were tasked with choosing who would have a seat on a spaceship that would transport passengers to another, presumably safe planet, the New York Times reports. There were 12 people to choose from, and students had to select eight. But it's the profiles of the potential passengers that had some parents upset. They included "a Hispanic clergyman who is against homosexuality"; "a 21-year-old female Muslim international student"; a "60-year-old Jewish university administrator"; and "a homosexual male professional athlete."

"This paper divides," mom Bernadette Hartman tells WKYC. "What does her being Muslim have to do with it?" In a Facebook post, local city Councilman Adam Miller says he had a "sincere conversation" with the teacher, who will "be removing this particular assignment from future lessons," adding that the assignment implants "prejudicial thoughts in these young impressionable minds." Per the Times, the lesson came from the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Houston. The center's director says the goal of the assignment is to help students understand their biases, though the center's assignments are usually geared toward college-age students. (Read more Ohio stories.)

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