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Maumee parent raises concerns over controversial assignment

Schools across the state are now required to submit active COVID cases to the Ohio Department...
Schools across the state are now required to submit active COVID cases to the Ohio Department of Health.(WTVG)
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 2:05 PM EDT
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MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) - A parent of a Maumee High School student has raised concerns over the type of material being taught in a sophomore history class.

An assignment was given in a class to have students examine political cartoons, including material from PragerU, a right-wing website. The story was originally reported by the Huffington Post.

According to a statement from Maumee City Schools, the assignment was extra credit and students could pick from sites presenting liberal, moderate, or conservative views through political cartoons.

“The assignment challenged students to analyze a cartoon’s content, context, symbols, labels, tone and more,” the statement reads in part. “A second option in the extra credit assignment asked students to view a video from a conservative website, analyze it and explain what they may have learned from it, and how it may have challenged or supported their own beliefs.”

The school district said when contacted by the concerned parent, Andrea Cutway, administrators made immediate changes with an alternative assignment offered. The student was also offered the opportunity to transfer to a different class. Cutway’s daughter elected to transfer classes.

According to Cutway, that choice between different viewpoints and opposing sites wasn’t offered. She said the only material offered was from PragerU.

“It wasn’t the assignment itself, it was the way that it was presented,” Cutway said. “(My daughter) was very alarmed because she recognized right away that everything was very one-sided.”

Cutway said the video offered only a conservative viewpoint and wasn’t appropriate for school.

“Regardless of what your political affiliations are, I don’t think that belongs in the public school system,” Cutway said. “I think the kids should be presented with the facts and be given the facts and able to present their own opinion about things.”

The Huffington Post story said the offer of an alternative assignment or transferring classes wasn’t made to Cutway’s daughter until after administrators were contacted for the story.

“Our first goal was to ensure the student would be comfortable fully participating in the curriculum,” the school district said.

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