The parents of students attending Marinette Middle School in Wisconsin are upset over a game organized by administrators that they say revealed too much about the personal lives of students.
The game was called “Cross the Line.”
According to administrators, the game was part of an anti-bullying program and was meant to build stronger bonds between students. Talk to parents and you’ll hear a different story.
In the game, a teacher asks a question like “Do you have any siblings at home?” Any student with siblings at home then steps forwards. The concept of the game doesn’t seem problematic. But check out the kinds of questions being asked by teachers at Marinette:
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“Do your parents drink?”
“Has anyone in your family ever been to jail?”
“Have you ever been suicidal?”
“Have you ever had the urge to cut yourself?”
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Questions like these, parents say, are inappropriate for middle school children to be answering in front of their peers.
“This kind of stuff, I mean, this can’t happen again,” one mother said. “These are our little kids. We’re parents. We should’ve been protecting them. You should’ve gave us the benefit of the doubt of contacting us.”
Not only do parents believe the game was inappropriate, but they also report that participation in it was required. Marinette administrators claim participation was voluntary, but one student who declined to take part was threatened with in-school suspension.
The student’s parent spoke to NBC 26 about her daughter’s refusal to partake in the game.
“She stood her ground, half her class stood their ground,” Janette Sadowski said. “Those are questions no child should have to answer.”
On Friday, the school sent a letter home to parents explaining why the game was played. Parents are demanding more answers, though, and hope to meet with school officials soon.
“It was too personal,” another parent added. “It’s just things your kids don’t need to be disclosing to other kids.”