Parent concerned over controversial online school lesson

Education

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Online school has basically put parents in the classroom with their kids. One parent is upset about what he heard being discussed in his fourth-grade daughter’s class. The parent says the discussion was about police shootings around the nation and the Black Lives Matter movement; two topics he says his child isn’t old enough to be talking about.

Chris Lopez posted a video of his fourth-grade daughter’s virtual class on Facebook last week after overhearing a controversial conversation. “The shootings. It was about the shootings. What shootings? The police shootings,” the class discussed. “I grabbed my phone and started recording and she said for them to draw a cop shooting a black person and explain how they felt about it,” Lopez says.

Lopez says this is an important topic, but doesn’t think a fourth-grade Language Arts class is the time or place to discuss it. “It’s just not right, it’s not a high school class, it’s not a social studies class it’s a class with ten-year-olds. There’s just some things students shouldn’t be exposed to,” Lopez says.

According to the Santa Fe School District, the material being discussed was from a weekly article by national publication Newsela. Once students read the article they can either write or draw their responses. “That week’s article was athletes speak out against police shootings and a student happened to draw a drawing that the father found offensive,” says Santa Fe Superintendent Dr. Veronica Garcia.

The district says students get these articles weekly. They cover different topics in an appropriate way for each grade-level “We want them to think critically and formulate their own opinions and I can understand why the parent might have had concerns,” Garcia says.

The district says they did meet with Lopez after the fact. But he feels parents should be giving a warning ahead of time when a controversial topic comes up. The districts say the teacher didn’t face any disciplinary action.

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