Controversy Over Political Assignment At Clear Fork HS

  • 2/6/2019 7:53:06 PM
  • Jenna Ramolt
  • Local News

CLEARFORK, OH - A parent's Facebook post caused a stir after a middle school teacher sent students home with a controversial "BINGO" card to be used during President Trump's State of the Union address.

The BINGO card that was sent home with dozens of middle schoolers Tuesday night consisted of squares using phrases like "Trump bashes a Democrat," along with other commonly used or infamous phrases used by the president. While some parents suggest the assignment's intention was to make sure students watched the address and put some critical thinking into it, others were determined that this was the wrong way to go about such an assignment.

On Wednesday, Clear Fork Local School's Superintendent Janice Wyckoff provided the following statement in regards to the homework assignment:

It is disheartening when we have employees interject their personal political opinions into any aspect of the education of children, that is the role of the family and not the role of public education.  The teacher involved is a very passionate teacher and a very good one.  In light of the current political environment, this activity may not have been the most appropriate assignment.  This situation is still under investigation and will progress in accordance to our negotiated agreement. 

The Clear Fork School Board's policies on issues of religious or political nature are available on the board's web site, and read as follows:

"Because points of view differ and biases exist, students must have access to materials, which express this diversity of perspective... It is the responsibility of the teacher to make certain that such access to materials presenting various sides of an issue is available. Teachers must take into account the age and relative maturity of their students and the need for guidance and help in studying issues and arriving at balanced views... The study of controversial issues should be objective and scholarly with a minimum of emphasis on opinion. The teacher must approach controversial issues in the classroom in an impartial and unprejudiced manner and must refrain from using classroom privileges and prestige to promote a partisan point of view."

The policy also states that arrangements can be made with parents who would rather their children be excused from such discussions.

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