Parents of sixth graders at a junior high have spoken out over an assignment’s attempt to explain the terrorist group ISIS to students.
Parents of students at Alvin Junior High in Alvin, Texas, report that the students were assigned to read a summary sourced to MTV News called “What is ISIS?”
Students were then asked to reflect on the subject in a one-page paper.
The second line of the news summary reportedly explained to the 11-year-old students that the terrorist group takes credit for beheading an American journalist.
(via ABC 13)
ABC 13 reports that although Alvin ISD says is received only two complaints, parents with junior high children were well aware of the assignment. Many parents are reported to have considered the assignment too advanced, or to be a conversation they should have with their own children first.
“I don’t know if my daughter would understand what a beheading is,” said parent David McLendon.
“There’s a lot of things you can write narratives on but beheadings in the Middle East—foreign policy shouldn’t be one of them for sixth graders,” McLendon added.
“You get an 11-year-old who comes home and says, ‘I didn’t know they cut someone’s head off, even showed a video.’ What are you going to do?” asked parent Russell Pharris.
Pharris added that the assignment is “a bit much for an 11-year-old. They’re still learning a lot. They’re still going to the playground.”
(via ABC 13)
ABC 13 reports that the district has no plans to reprimand the teachers.
A statement from a spokesman noted that, “As educators, our intent is to provide students with a supportive learning environment where they are able to discuss factual events and gain better understanding of the world around them.”
“Our teachers strive to find the appropriate balance when teaching students about troubling world events while taking into consideration their age and maturity level,” the statement continued.
The statement noted that “The sad reality is that Jr. High students are confronted with and are aware of the details related to ISIS. The goal of Alvin ISD is to ensure that students are provided appropriate opportunities to gain a factual understanding in the context of classroom-learning environment.”