I recently received an email from a concerned citizen about worksheets used in a Florida high school that talked about the rape of a girl named Suzy and about a Mrs. Smith who has a baby named Tyra. Mrs Smith, who is married, believes one of two men can be the father of her child.
Question 3 asks:
Mrs. Smith has a baby named Tyra. She believes one of two men can be the father of her child. A paternity test is done and the results are shown above. Which of the 2 men are baby Tyra’s father?
Question 5 asks:
Suzy was assaulted in an alley and is a victim of rape. The police collected a sample of sperm that was left at the crime scene and now have 3 suspects in custody. Which of the suspects raped Suzy?
Question 6 asks:
The millionaire, Mr. Big, has just died. He has left behind a wife, daughter and a large inheritance. The news of his death has brought forth 2 men who claim to be the long lost son of Mr. & Mrs. Big. Before Mr. & Mrs. Big were married they had an illegitimate child and had placed him up for adoption. They had tried to find him after they became wealthy but had no luck in locating him. A DNA sample was taken from Mrs. Big, the Big daughter and the two men who claim to be the long lost son. Which, if any, of the men are telling the truth?
The full worksheets in PDF format many be reviewed here. NOTE: The questions are poorly worded.
From the questions it appears the worksheets promote the ideas of: rape (question 5), adultery (questions 3 and 6) and anti-Capitalism (i.e. the use of the pejorative “Mr. Big” in question 6).
The worksheets were used in science/biology classes at Venice High School (VHS) in Venice, Florida.
According to Sarasota County Schools Communications Specialist Scott Ferguson:
The worksheets… were downloaded by teachers from the Internet as practice sheets keyed to concepts of biology (specifically DNA). The worksheets are not part of any textbooks, tests or official curriculum materials used in Sarasota County schools. Students were not graded on their answers. The worksheets have been used in a total of five courses at Venice High School since December 2015 but are no longer being used. [Emphasis added]
Ferguson states, “We estimate that about 275 students have used the worksheets. Three biology teachers at VHS used the worksheets: Debra Bowen, Christopher Lorenz, Brenda Randazzese. To our knowledge it is not being used at other high schools in the district.”
Parents and citizens are concerned that materials are being used by teachers taken from the internet. Ferguson notes that even he could not determine who created the worksheets.
Are these worksheets academically sound? Are they being used in other Florida public schools? Shouldn’t teachers use approved, scientifically based materials in the classroom?
It appears that the initial concerns by a citizen are well founded. The question is what will the Sarasota County School Board, the Superintendent, the Florida Department of Education do to insure only properly researched and approved materials are used?
Those are the questions.