ROCK HILL, S.C. — A middle school Spanish teacher has apologized after he asked a question online in an attempt to get to know his virtual students.
The question appeared in a Spanish class taught from Castle Heights Middle School and was part of an introduction to the course.
The question was: “Which celebrity do you find attractive and why?”
Below the question on the screen was a colorful word cloud image that contained sexually suggestive words, including:
- Sexually attractive
Parent Sarah Randolph saw the words on the screen during her 12-year-old daughter’s virtual academy Spanish class. She told Channel 9 she couldn’t believe it.
“It hurt me. It upset me. I’m still mad now just talking about,” Randolph said.
She responded to the question for her daughter: “I think this question is inappropriate.”
“What is sexually attractive at 12 years old? She’s 12 years old!” Randolph told Channel 9.
The mother contacted the school and the Rock Hill Schools district office, and the question was later removed from the virtual academy Spanish class.
The teacher later emailed an apology to the class saying he didn’t notice the concerning words on the screen when he added the word cloud to the document. He said if he did see them, he wouldn’t have included it.
The apology only mentioned that he missed seeing two words on the screen, “luscious” and “sexy.” He didn’t mention the other suggestive words, which are visible in the graphic.
The teacher may have called it an oversight, but Randolph doesn’t buy the explanation.
“No, not at all," she said. "Mistake or not, somebody needs to own up to it. Somebody needs to take responsibility for it.”
The school district issued the following statement:
"When concerns arise, we work with students and parents to address the issue or complaint. School and district administrators received a concern from a parent on Monday morning regarding an assignment in her daughter’s Spanish class.
"We have corresponded with the parent by phone and email to listen to the concern. We understand the parent’s position on this matter and have shared with her this situation was isolated and that it should not happen again.
“Recognizing the word cloud included with the lesson included phrases that were not age-appropriate for middle school students, the teacher quickly removed the image and the assignment.”
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