On Wednesday, a teacher at a Pennsylvania middle school issued a homework assignment in which students were instructed to photograph themselves packing a bag to pretend they were refugees forced to leave their homes as “President Trump is trying to take control of the United States! There are fights in the streets!” according to WPXI.
The homework assignment at the middle school in the Penn Cambria School District in Gallitzin, PA, reportedlyupset parents. Penn Live reported, “District Superintendent William Marshall says the teacher realized the ‘huge error’ and has called each parent individually to apologize.”
The assignment stated:
President Trump is trying to take control of the United States! There are fights in the streets! You have to pretend that you are a refugee being forced to leave your home, never to return. Please have a parent to time them for ten minutes while they packed a bag. When the time was up they were to take a picture of the contents of their backpack and then email it to me. If no picture, then draw it. You will have to present to us why you chose those items. This is due on Thursday. Worth 10 points.
The teacher’s actions would seem to be out of place at the school; the middle school itself adheres to conservative principles. Its dress code reads:
Shirts must cover the midriff at all times. Shirts must reach the waistband of pants whether sitting or standing. Halter, tube tops, spaghetti strap shirts are NOT permitted. Tops must be wide enough to cover bra straps. Pants for boys and girls must fit at the waist so that your underwear does not show when you are sitting or standing. Logos on the back of pants or shorts are not permitted. Shorts and skirts must be at least the length of student’s fingertips when hands are dropped to the side.
The middle school website also notes, “We had the privilege of having the U.S. Honor Flag Network visit the Middle School on Wednesday, October 2nd. They held a presentation that focused on America’s Heroes, Integrity, Patriotism, and sharing the U.S. Honor Flag.”
On September 24, a Computer Applications teacher at Watson B. Duncan Middle School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida gave students a quiz with a question in which students were asked which president, Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, or Jimmy Carter, was the “45th Pres; 2017; Republican; Real Estate businessman; Idiot.”
The teacher claimed she downloaded the quiz from Quizlet, and had not reviewed the question before making it part of the quiz, as WPTV reported.
As ABC Action News reported, the school’s principal sent a letter to parents that read:
Hello Duncan Middle School Parents, this is Principal Philip D’Amico. A question on a quiz given by your child’s Computer Applications teacher yesterday was brought to my attention this morning. The question was inappropriate and demonstrated an unacceptable lack of good judgment on the part of the teacher. An investigation is now underway, and the teacher has been reassigned during this process. Because this is an open inquiry, I am not at liberty to share any additional details with you at this point. I apologize for this incident, and for the offensive verbiage used in the question. Thank you for your patience, and your continued support of Watson B. Duncan Middle School.
The school district released this statement to to WPTV: “Despite the fact that the teacher didn’t write, or intentionally select the question, the District views this error as a display of unprofessional behavior. The School District of Palm Beach County holds our educators to the highest standards. The teacher has been disciplined.”