A teacher at Howard B. Matlin Middle School in New York was temporarily removed from her position on Tuesday after giving fifth-grade students a controversial homework assignment that asked them to choose who to save in a disaster, ABC7 NY reported.
Mandy Bieder, who is a track coach and teacher at the Long Island school, gave students a list of ten individuals to choose from on Monday and asked them to pick six people who they would let into a fallout shelter in the event of a nuclear attack, according to ABC7. Options included a police officer with a gun who has “multiple charges of brutality pending against him,” a “retired prostitute,” a musician who was “previously addicted to cocaine,” a “homosexual architect” and a pregnant 16-year-old.
“I think it’s inappropriate,” Mike Salmon, a resident of the area, told News12 Long Island. “There’s no need to ask children who they’d let die in a situation and also to put their sexual preference, their charges against them. They’re talking about weapons, they’re talking all these different types of things that shouldn’t be brought in the classroom.”
Principal Dr. Joseph Coladonato replaced Bieder with a substitute teacher on Tuesday after parents protested the “age-inappropriate” assignment, ABC7 reported. Coladonato said the school would launch an investigation into Bieder and will not allow her to return until the investigation is completed.
“Our school, and our District as a whole, do not approve nor support assignments that are age-inappropriate, out of alignment with the curriculum, and fall outside of New York State standards,” Coladonato said in a statement to ABC7. “This assignment violated all of these criteria, and has no place in our classrooms. We condemn this type of material in the strongest possible terms.”
Teachers and schools have moved to “challenge” middle school students in similar ways across the country, including a California school that brought a drag queen in to perform for students and a Michigan teacher who had her students pole dance on a field trip. Teachers unions throughout the country have promoted hosting “drag queen story hours” in 2022, and pushed teaching Critical Race Theory in the classroom.
Coladonato, Bieder and the Howard B. Matlin Middle School Parent-Teacher Association did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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