Society

Mom Says Son's Teacher Told Class Not To Cite Fox News

| by Selena Darlim
An empty school classroom with desks.An empty school classroom with desks.

A mother of a New Jersey high school student took her complaints to school administrators and the press after a global studies teacher told her son not to use Fox News as a source in his assignment.

"I’m livid," the mother wrote to LifeZette, which did not state her name at her request. "I'm not allowing him to stay in this teacher's classroom, to be subjected to this all year long."

The mother believes the teacher's actions represent a liberal bias.

The woman's son is an eleventh grade honors student at Hunterdon Central Regional High School Flemington, New Jersey. While he and other students were clear about what happened in the classroom, the school's social studies curriculum director said the students must have misunderstood the teacher's direction.

The boy's mother said in a Facebook post that the teacher told students not to use Fox News because it was biased, directing them to cite CNN and its affiliates instead. Her post quickly became popular amongst other parents, who encouraged her to report the incident to school directors.

Among those who were upset by the teacher's actions was Flemington Borough Republican Councilman Brian Swingle, who called the event "a disturbing injustice" that he has heard too many times in recent years.

Swingle encouraged parents to "push back hard" and resist the "demise of our democracy".

School Superintendent Jeffrey Moore said in a statement that he learned of the incident on Sept. 7, one day after the first day of school, NJ Advance Media reports. Moore said the school "moved swiftly" in response to the mother's complaint about biased teaching.

In an email to LifeZette, Moore explained that the school's policy on teaching controversial issues mandates teachers to "provide relevant information on both sides of the question," and to avoid the "assumption that there is one correct answer which should emerge from a discussion and be taught authoritatively to the pupils."  The policy also states that students should be taught they have a right to form an opinion on controversial issues.

"We recognize the potential for a teacher, as a trusted authority figure, to sway student opinion about such issues without even setting out to do so," Moore said, according to NJ Advance Media.

Moore remarked that the wide media access provided by technology has made it difficult for students to get the truth.

"Like so many other schools, we reevaluate our efforts to fulfill this pledge as often as we face change -- daily, and even more often than that," Moore said.

The incident is reportedly being "handled" by school administrators.

"I'm actually happy so far with the response I've been getting from the school district," the mother wrote in a Sept. 8 Facebook post, according to LifeZette.

On Sept. 13, Michele Blood, the writer of the LifeZette article told NJ Advance Media that the mother has met with Moore, Principal Suzanne Cooley and Vice Principal Andrew Estrada and was "satisfied" with the outcome. Blood also said the mother is set to meet with the teacher on Sept. 14 or Sept. 15.

Sources: NJ Advance MediaLifeZette / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons, Orin Zebest/Flickr

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