Parents of seventh- and eighth-grade students at Monroe Middle School in Tampa, Fla. are incensed because an unidentified Spanish teacher used taxpayer-funded class time to distribute and discuss a survey entitled “How much privilege do you have?”
“Check the boxes that apply to you,” the survey, obtained by Tampa CBS affiliate WTSP, instructed the middle schoolers.
Then come several crudely printed boxes involving race and skin color (two separate categories); religion; sex, gender and sexual orientation (three wholly distinct categories); and disability.
Regina Stiles was among the outraged parents who contacted Monroe Middle School’s principal with their concerns.
“She’s 12,” Stiles told WTSP. “Some of these things should be taught at home.”
Stiles said she is also upset because the teacher essentially clued the girl’s classmates in on her attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
“She has ADHD and, apparently, the teacher said there are some kids in this class that have ADHD, and ADHD is a mental illness, and that’s why she circled that,” the mom told the station. “To me ADHD is not a mental disability. It’s something she has.”
The Spanish teacher’s survey asked students to define themselves in many ways. Under “skin color,” for example, the three choices were “White/Light,” “Brown” and “Black/Dark.”
Under “Religion,” the hilariously crass form also uses the term “Muslim/Sikh,” thus stupidly conflating two world religions that have nothing to do with each other except unrelated traditions about facial hair.
The three sex-related columns — “Sex,” Gender” and “Sexual Orientation” — offer an array of choices for the seventh-grade and eighth-grade students including “Intersex,” “Cisgendered,” “Transgendered,” Genderqueer” and “Pansexual.”
People are “cisgender” if their stated gender matches their physical sex. The word means normal. “Intersex” is the very rare condition of having genitals that aren’t wholly male or female. “Pansexual” means feeling sexual attraction toward all genders and gender identities. (It’s way broader, apparently, than merely bisexual.) “Genderqueer” means subjectively feeling that traditional boy/girl norms don’t apply to you because you are a special snowflake. (RELATED: The Dictionary Of The Modern Campus Activist)
School district spokeswoman Tanya Arja assured WTSP that the survey is not part of the official Hillsborough County Public Schools curriculum.
“This is not a district form, this is a teacher-generated form and it was without principal consent and at the district level we do not collect that information,” Arja said.
Arja also noted that the Spanish teacher was trying to make some point about diversity in class and did not ask the students to turn in the surveys.
The teacher, who is in her first year at Monroe Middle School, has been suspended with pay pending an investigation.
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