In an assignment given out at Roberts Middle School in Cuyahoga Falls, students had to choose who they felt were "most deserving" to be saved from a doomed Earth from a list based on race, religion, sexual orientation and other qualifications.
The assignment, called Whom to Leave Behind, asked students to rank the 12 people from "most deserving" (1) to "least deserving" (12). Only eight of the twelve could be saved.
The descriptions of the 12 people are as follows:
- An accountant with a substance abuse problem
- A militant African-American medical student
- A 33-year-old female Native American manager who does not speak English
- The accountant's pregnant wife
- A famous novelist with a physical disability
- A 21-year-old female who is a Muslim international student
- A Hispanic clergyman who is against homosexuality
- A female movie star who was recently the victim of a sexual assault
- A racist, armed police officer who has been accused of using excessive force
- A homosexual male who is a professional athlete
- An Asian, orphaned 12-year-old boy
- A 60-year-old Jewish university administrator
In a Facebook post, Councilman Adam Miller said he spoke with the teacher who gave the assignment. He said the teacher intended to promote diversity. Miller told News 5 the teacher apologized for the assignment that has caused such controversy.
"It was a sincere conversation, and I encouraged the continued discussions on this topic," Miller wrote.
Miller said the teacher will be removing this assignment from future lessons. Miller also said he feels this was inappropriate for young students.
"It's implanting prejudicial thoughts in these young impressionable minds. This is NOT building a 'culture of caring,' this is building a culture of animosity, antagonism and hostility," Miller wrote.
Dr. T. M. Nichols, the superintendent and CEO of Cuyahoga Falls City Schools, provided the following statement to News 5:
Specific teacher assignments are generally not pre-approved; however, they are expected to reflect the course curriculum. We have a meeting scheduled with the teacher, union representation, principal and central office administration for Monday. The District will issue a formal statement thereafter.