WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A controversial middle school assignment given to students at Roberts Middle School in Cuyahoga Falls went viral last week.
- The assignment called “Whom to Leave Behind” instructs students to select 8 out of 12 people to save because “planet Earth is doomed for destruction.”
- Many upset parents expressed their sentiments but the school released a statement saying “the intent of this assignment aligned with the goals of the District.”
An Ohio middle school gave their students an assignment that required them to decide theoretically who they would save or leave behind during Earth’s destruction — using descriptions such as race, religion ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
Pupils of Roberts Middle School were tasked to pick eight out of twelve people to board a spaceship to take to a different planet as the world has come to its end.
The homework, with the title “Whom to Leave Behind,” was described as “inappropriate” by Adam Miller, 6th Ward City Councilman of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He posted a photo of the controversial project on Facebook last Wednesday.
The kinds of “passengers” include:
- An accountant with a substance abuse problem.
- A militant African-American medical student.
- A 33-year-old 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 who is against homosexuality.
- A female movie star who was recently the 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.
Many upset parents expressed their sentiments in the comments section of Miller’s post, saying that it’s very insensitive and not age-appropriate. One parent, Bernadette Hartman, shared that the homework made her son uncomfortable.
She told WKYC, “What does her being Muslim have to do with it? What does being female have to do with it?”
She adds “This paper divides. It doesn’t pull anybody together.”
Superintendent Todd Nichols of Cuyahoga Falls City Schools in Ohio stated, “We take the matter very seriously, we are investigating it and we expect it to be completed very early next week with a resolution.”
Roberts Middle School has since posted a statement on their website, explaining the situation.
“One of the District’s goals this year is training in the areas of diversity awareness and social justice. In this case, the intent of this assignment aligned with the goals of the District and was issued in four seventh- and eighth-grade classes,” the school wrote.
“The intent of this lesson was to engage in an activity in diversity designed to promote tolerance and break down stereotypes,” the school added.
The school’s statement concluded with an apology for the offense that it caused, promising that future assignments will be more carefully selected.