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Third graders asked "What is an Illegal Alien?"

11:52 PM, Mar 22, 2011   |    comments
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3rd grade reading assignment

DULUTH, Ga. -- Illegal immigration is an issue that has been debated by the highest lawmakers in our country. But should it be part of a third graders homework assignment? It was in a Gwinnett County Elementary school and some people deemed it very inappropriate.

Kelly Avalos' 9-year old brother asked her for help on his homework. It was a reading assignment, a story about illegal immigration.

Her brother is in the third grade at Chesney Elementary School in Duluth. His class went home with a packet of reading material and in it was a story titled "What is an Illegal Alien?" "They should be more responsible in what they're giving these kids," Avalos said.

One of the multiple choice questions on the assignment was question #6:

What does the U.S. do with illegal aliens?

A. The U.S. puts them to work in the army.
B. The U.S. shoots them into outer space.
C. The U.S. puts them to death.
D. The U.S. sends them back where they came from.

"Reading the question and reading the final answers to question number 6 was very disturbing," Avalos said.

We took the assignment and Avalos' concerns to the Gwinnett County School District and they agreed. "In this case we believe that the material was not appropriate for the classroom," said spokesperson Jorge Quintana.

Quintana said the story was one of several pieces of material from an education web site. He said each school has a media committee that advises teachers on what material from the web is appropriate. They are looking into whether the committee knew about the assignment or the teacher did it on her own. "Depending on what we find out there could be disciplinary action as well as additional staff development for our teacher," Quintana said.

Avalos said she wanted to make parents aware. "I would like all parents to be aware what's actually being sent out there to their children, what they're actually being taught, what they're actually reading," she said. "This molds their minds."

The school district emphasized the assignment was not an immigration lesson. The teacher's intention was to use it as a reading comprehension lesson.

Quintana said the teacher in question has only been teaching for a year. Ironically, the student's family said the teacher is Hispanic.

 

 

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