Teacher Daryl Cox was recently fired from her job at Fox Chapel Middle School in Hernando County, Florida, after asking her students some controversial questions from a book about white privilege (video below).
The questions presented a series of imaginary situations with a social message, reports WFLA:
Your black roommate gets a full-tuition minority scholarship.
You discover that the cute young man/woman that you are attracted to is actually a woman/man.
Your mother 'comes out' to you.
The assignment was reportedly left for the students while Cox was absent.
Karen Jordan, a spokeswoman for the Hernando County School District, criticized the assignment in a statement:
In no way does that assignment meet the standards of appropriate instructional material. After being made aware of the assignment, school administration began an investigation and has taken immediate disciplinary action. This teacher was within her probationary period and has been released from employment.
The questions came from a book entitled "Exploring White Privilege," written by philosophy professor Robert Amico, who also authored another book, "Anti-Racist Teaching," WTSP reports.
In the assignment, the students were supposed to rate their feelings from "Not Comfortable At All" to "Completely Comfortable."
WTSP noted more of the questions: "Your new roommate is Jewish," "A group of young Black men are walking toward you on the street," and "A friend invites you to go to a gay bar."
The father of a student told WFLA he was not comfortable with the last question: "Specifically, the question that was posed about the gays in the bar, I think that you're asking kids to try to understand a situation that they may not be fully understanding of."
A mom of a student added: "They have social media. I figured they would learn everything there nowadays anyways. I just don’t think it’s something that needs to be brought in school. School’s here to learn."
WFLA and WTSP tried to contact Cox, who did not comment to either station.
Amico, who wrote the book where the questions came from, issued a statement to WTSP:
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.