Teacher downloads inappropriate Internet assignment

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HOPEWELL, Va. — The superintendent of Hopewell Schools issued a statement Monday after angry and confused parents spoke out over an assignment they deemed inappropriate for their children’s middle school class.

A teacher at Carter G. Woodson Middle School assigned the “Family Quiz” worksheet Friday in a Family & Consumer Sciences class, according to parents.

The assignment began with some straight-forward questions like, “What do you call the father of your father?” and “What do you call the sister of your father?”

But the last four questions of the 20 question worksheet took a turn. A turn that left many parents questioning how the assignment was ever approved for the classroom. Turns out, it wasn’t.

Pop Quiz

Question: What do you call it when a married person has a relationship with someone else?

Answer: An affair

Question: What do you call a married man’s girlfriend?

Answer: Mistress

Question: What do you call the much younger boyfriend of an older woman?

Answer: Boy Toy

Question: What do you call the much younger and beautiful wife of an older, wealthy man?

Answer: Trophy wife

“I couldn’t believe that an educator would be giving something like that an 11-year-old,” parent Tara Sample said. “”No one in the schools system needs to be teaching my daughter what a mistress is or a trophy wife or boy toy. It’s inappropriate for a school. Period. We send our kids there to learn math, reading, science and history not to learn this other stuff that goes on in the world that they eventually going to learn anyways.”

Sample posted a photo of her daughter’s worksheet on Facebook where other parents chimed in and agreed with her outrage.

On Monday afternoon, the school system responded.

“We were made aware last evening of the Facebook coverage of the assignment given to students in the Family and Consumer Sciences program at our middle school. We immediately began to investigate,” Hopewell Schools Superintendent Dr. Melody Hackney said in a statement. “Upon further review, we have determined that a teacher downloaded this worksheet from the Internet. This content was not a part of the current and approved curriculum for this course nor was it in any way an appropriate learning tool for middle school aged children. This assignment was also not included or referenced in the teacher’s weekly lesson plans that are reviewed and approved in advance of instruction.”

The worksheet, it appeared, was originally posted on a website designed to allow English as a Second Language teachers to share worksheets around the world.

It was made available for download in 2011.

In that time, hundreds of people have left comments praising the worksheet for its humor.

Others called it inappropriate.

In a 2013 response, its creator said, “Please remember that this worksheet may not be appropriate to teach to younger students and can be adapted to your own needs.”

Advice some Hopewell parents wished the middle school teacher would have followed.

“Additional controls and School Board Office supports have been put in place,” Dr. Hackney said about the Hopewell incident. “At this point, this matter has become a personnel issue and no further comment is appropriate.”

Ahead on CBS 6 starting at 5 p.m., one student from the class shares her thoughts on the assignment.

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