Texas school quiz mocks Chinese

2021-04-03 12:04:53

Sally Sha holds a sign as people protest after the deadly shootings in Georgia and against violence targeting Asian people, in Houston, Texas, US, March 20, 2021. [Photo/Agencies] A derogatory question about China on a sixth-grade social studies quiz has led to the suspension of three teachers and an investigation in a Dallas-area school district. Joy Lim, a Korean-American college student studying at home remotely, said she was shocked when she got a glimpse of a middle school social studies quiz her 12-year-old sister was taking. She snapped a screen shot of the question and posted it on Twitter, stating: "This is ridiculous. Harmful rhetoric in our education system is exactly why anti-Asian hate crimes and racism persist today." The question, in a multiple-choice format, stated: "Which one of these Chinese norms is true? A. It is normal in China to cut off someone's lips if they burp in a restaurant. B. It is normal in parts of China to give children fifty lashes by a cane if they steal a piece of candy. C. It is normal in parts of China to eat cats and dogs." "Teaching this material to 12-year-olds is wildly inappropriate," Lim told a local TV station. "I was like, 'I have to take a picture of this. This is crazy!' I have to send this to the district or someone and demand an explanation." Lim's sister is attending Blalack Middle School in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District (CFBISD). After her inquiry, CFBISD issued a statement Wednesday that three teachers involved have been placed on administrative leave until an investigation is completed. "The words used on the test question were derogatory and hurtful," and "CFBISD recently launched a diversity training initiative for staff," the statement said. Lim wasn't pleased with the reply she got from the school district. "The email I received back was very insincere," she said. "It was a copy-and-paste of the statement they put on Twitter, and I was very disappointed. "That is the most shocking and disappointing part is that they are three educators who thought this was OK," Lim said. According to the Dallas Morning News, several former teachers from CFISD reached out to Lim to offer their apologies and assurances that such language has no place in their classrooms. However, the district has offered no apologies. "For the Asian American students in the classroom, how are they going to internalize this?" Lim wondered. Following CFBISD's statement, Twitter user Leslie Weems wrote: "I've seen a lot of parents react to the test question as though it's a fact that might as well be taught, and the problem is that there is no humanity in how it's discussed. It has reduced a very culturally diverse nation through this weird voyeurism and othering." "I have a little sister who will be a future 'blalack bear', and you're telling us that the teachers are on paid administrative leave!? This is absolutely disgusting. Those teachers should be fired. Racism and stereotyping should not be tolerated," tweeted another user, Jacqueline Huerta. Some believe the teachers should be fired. "If you truly value your community of diverse learners and staff, you'll fire those responsible for using such disgusting and, frankly, racist rhetoric. This is ridiculous," said Marisa Duran. Some parents are asking if the quiz question is specific to the school or is districtwide. CFBISD hasn't responded so far.