In the wake of the ISIS attacks on Beirut and Paris, a Houston, Texas school gave its students a somewhat controversial assignment – one that angered mom Theresa Bosley. ABC 13 reports that Bosley was upset when she discovered her daughter’s ninth-grade geography assignment “instructed students to analyze the words of an ISIS recruiter.”
The first part of the assignment had students refer to a blog post from an ISIS recruiter and determine the subject, occasion, audience, purpose and speaker (S.O.A.P.S.).
“The subject deals with different kinds of women needed to join ISIS, professionals, police and wives. The ‘audience’ is ‘woman anywhere who might want to join ISIS,'” ABC 13 notes.
The second half asked students to evaluate a quote from Osama Bin Laden, which was related to the 17 sailors killed on the USS Cole.
The Texas mother reported her frustration with the assignment to the school.
“I’m all about education,” Bosley says. “We should teach about ISIS. But let’s teach the facts. Let’s teach who they are and what happened.”
Houston Independent School District (HISD) released a statement saying the assignment was to teach students critical thinking on current events, ABC 13 reports. Bosley – who says she has received the support of other parents in her daughter’s class – says the school should talk more about the victims affected by ISIS.
Yes, this is a touchy subject, but is it harmful for 14 and 15 years old to know more about it? A few commenters from the ABC 13 article say it’s an inappropriate subject, but one reader says if the students could not handle the topic then that’s a problem. However, Reddit users did not understand the mother’s frustration with the assignment.
I think students should be aware of what’s going on in the world. Perhaps, the teacher could spend one class period discussing ISIS, and allowing the students to ask questions and share what they know about the topic. Give them a chance to speak their mind and get a better understanding at the same time.
Is an appropriate age to talk about this topic? I was 9 years old when the 9/11 attacks happened. At that age, I barely understood what happened. It was not until I was 13 years old I grasped the concept of it. If a child does not understand, it may not be the right time to explain, but I’d think ninth-grade students would be equipped to have this sort of discussion.
Did this mom overreact? What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments section below.