May 11, 2009

Pueblo School 9th Grade Assignment: Illustrate "Act Of Terrorism"; Superintendent: Students "Misinterpreted" Assignment

Touchy-feely multicultural nonsense? An poorly designed pedagogical experiment?

You be the judge:
A ninth grade history project at a high school in Pueblo was supposed to teach students about terrorism, but instead it outraged parents.

Gini Fischer says her daughter came home Thursday saying she had two minutes to come up with a plot for an act of terrorism.

Over 110 freshmen at Pueblo County High School were given the project.

The teacher claims the assignment was to illustrate an act of terrorism by a foreign government on American soil.

Fischer says, "To ask them to use their creative energies to come up with a plot for an act of terrorism is very ludicrous."
What's the over/under on the unnamed teacher's political affiliation?

The ridiculous assignment has the administrative types running for cover and claiming the students "misinterpreted" the teacher's intent:
District 70 Superintendent Dr. Dan Lere said students may have misinterpreted the assignment.

He says if a student, "actually did illustrate an act of terrorism that they might commit, let's say against the school, we've expelled students for that."

The school district has decided to collect the assignment from students and destroy them.
Wait, I thought the students "misinterpreted" the assignment? Why destroy them?

Even under the most favorable reading, an assignment that asks high school students to envision, illustrate, contemplate, or otherwise interpret an act of terrorism, especially one on American soil, should be handled with healthy dose of reasonability. Would an assignment of this type, considering terrorism domestically (as it appears this assignment called for) or anywhere else for that matter be considered reasonable? If so, under what conditions?

The superintendent begins by placing the blame on the students for a misunderstanding of the assignment, and yet the school district has seen fit to destroy the students' work.


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