A reading comprehension quiz that a Broward County high school teacher distributed to ninth-grade students Friday has drawn criticism because the subject matter references the mass shooting at a Florida school where 17 people died last February.
The assignment, titled "Does Nikolas Cruz Deserve to Die?" included an article about capital punishment published Oct. 8 in The New York Times Upfront Magazine.
This worksheet was given to students in @BrowardSchools. I cannot begin to express how pathetic I find this. Our school— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) December 7, 2018
board should add this to the list of 1000+ reasons to be ashamed. pic.twitter.com/tEl3BzTLg0
The current events magazine, which is published by Scholastic Inc. in partnership with The New York Times, is geared toward high school students.
Nikolas Cruz allegedly killed 17 people and injured 17 others on Valentine's Day at the nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Coral Glades High School posted the following statement on its website:
"Coral Glades High School administration was unaware that an assignment, which included insensitive content concerning Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had been distributed to students today. The material was from a subscription-based publication, used as a curriculum resource. The school’s leadership has pulled the assignment, is instituting an approved review process of all such materials and regrets that this incident occurred. Broward County Public Schools is working with the publisher to make them aware of our concerns."
The Scholastic Corporation released the following statement:
"(The New York Times Upfront) is a current events magazine published by Scholastic for students in grades 9 through 12, created to provide balanced, age-appropriate information that can be used as teaching resources in the classroom. Each issue of the magazine is accompanied by a teacher's guide, and contains information designed to help inform classroom discussions and activities. The Oct. 8, 2018, issue of (The New York Times Upfront) contained an article about capital punishment with a headline that referenced the perpetrator of the tragic Parkland shootings. A quiz in the accompanying teacher's guide also mentioned the perpetrator by name. The article and the quiz were intended only to provide a platform for meaningful conversations around the history, civics and social impact of the death penalty. We deeply regret if the use of this real life example added in any way to the ongoing suffering of the students, families and educators of the Parkland community."
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