A teacher at a middle school in Spring Hill, Florida, has been fired after handing out an inappropriate survey that asked 12-year-old students to describe their comfort level in various social circumstances, such as going to a gay bar and being asked to dance by a person of the same sex.
Daryl Cox was that teacher at Fox Chapel Middle School and the survey, “How Comfortable Am I?” asked for reactions ranging from “Not Comfortable At All” to “Completely Comfortable.” Scenarios included:
- “You go to a gay bar and a person of the same sex asks you to dance.”
- “The young man sitting next to you on the airplane is Arab.”
- “Your brother’s new girlfriend is a single mother on welfare.”
- “A group of young black men are walking toward you on the street.”
- “Your new roommate is Palestinian and Muslim.”
- “You discover your teenage brother kissing a male friend.”
- “You discover that the cute young man/woman that you are attracted to is actually a woman/man.”
- “Your mother ‘comes out’ to you.”
Cox was fired by the Hernando County School District which released a statement assuring, “In no way, did this assignment meet the standards of appropriate instructional material.”
Students who were in the class protested the assignment and told local news that Cox said, “Yeah this is kind of wrong … maybe I should take it back,” according to The Blaze. When the students asked if they could show their parents, Cox allegedly replied, “No, don’t show your mom. Don’t take that home. I’m taking it back up.”
This questionnaire was lifted straight from the book, Exploring White Privilege, by philosophy professor Robert Amico. Another book he has written is called Anti-Racist Teaching. Amico said the latter book is for teachers but the former is for “learners”:
There is a survey in the appendix of my book titled "How Comfortable Am I?" under "Self-Assessment Exercises" that offers readers an opportunity to assess their comfort levels in a variety of possible situations that cover a range of issues, including race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability, religion, and so forth. The results can direct readers to areas worth further exploration for personal growth. I hope this helps.
Yes, those are GREAT topics for sixth-graders!
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