An assignment recently given to seventh and eighth graders at a suburban Ohio middle school has sparked outrage among parents and the public at large.
“The twelve persons listed below have been selected as passengers on a space ship for a flight to another planet because tomorrow the planet Earth is doomed for destruction,” said the instructions for an assignment given to Roberts Middle School students in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. “Due to changes in space limitations, it has now been determined that only eight persons may go. Any eight qualify.”
Students were instructed to choose eight of the 12 people to save. They had the following options:
- An accountant with a substance abuse problem
- A militant African-American medical student
- A 33-year-old female Native American manager who does not speak English
- The accountant’s pregnant wife
- A famous novelist with a physical disability
- A 21-year-old female Muslim international student
- A Hispanic clergyman against homosexuality
- A female move [sic] star who was recently a victim of sexual assault
- A racist armed police officer who has been accused of using excessive force
- A homosexual male, professional athlete
- An Asian, orphaned 12-year-old boy
- A 60-year-old Jewish university administrator
The assignment outraged City Councilman Adam Miller, according to a report.
“In my view, it clearly uses conjecture which is suggesting this fictious behavior is somehow an accepted pattern.” Miller said in a now-deleted Facebook post. “Additionally, it’s implanting prejudicial thoughts in these young impressionable minds. This is NOT building a – “culture of caring” – this is building a culture of animosity, antagonism & hostility!”
The Cleveland Scene, an alternative weekly newspaper described the assignment as “a proverbial trash fire of racism, classism, homophobia, sexism, ageism, ableism and every other disgusting -ism you could imagine.”
The teacher who assigned the project will receive a “strongly worded letter” in his personnel file which will indicated that he “erred in judgment,” according to superintendent Todd M. Nichols.
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