How comfortable are you in specific situations involving race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation? Those were the type of questions asked in a questionnaire distributed by a teacher to sixth-grade students in Birdville, Texas, last week.
The "How Comfortable Am I" questionnaire was given to students at North Richland Middle School located in a suburb right outside of Dallas. The survey consisted of statements asking students to identify their comfort level in situations with transgender people, gay bars, and different ethnicities.
"A friend invites you to a gay bar" and "your sister invites her new boyfriend to dinner. He is a female-to-male transsexual" are just a slice of what the survey presented to 12-year-olds without the consent of their parents.
According to WFAA in Dallas, "The assignment follows a list of 41 scenarios that asks students to rank how comfortable they are with each, ranging from 1 'not comfortable at all' to 4 'completely comfortable.' "
Parents were shocked. Ashley Brent, whose son returned home with the quiz, said she "wasn’t ready for my son to be exposed to these type of things."
Brent told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that when she called the teacher to ask what the purpose of the survey was, the teacher claimed it was a "diversity" project for Black History Month.
A spokesperson for the school said the survey was not approved by parents or the district and that the teacher will be disciplined but didn't say if she was suspended.
"We agree the survey was not appropriate and disciplinary action was taken," said Mark Thomas.