A racist is right wing? Kamloops dad has questions about kid's homework assignment | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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A racist is right wing? Kamloops dad has questions about kid's homework assignment

Image Credit: Shutterstock
October 02, 2018 - 4:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops father is speaking out after his son brought home a politically polarizing assignment from his high school social studies class this week.

Matt DeFouw took to Facebook where he posted a photo of the assignment, titled "Political Spectrum Case Studies". Students had to sort through political statements and decide if they are on the right or the left. Some of them are fairly straight forward, such as "A person who believes in a higher minimum wage" (left). 

"It is essentially molding the next generation of voters to believe that Conservatives or people "on the right" are misogynist racists who hate immigrants and want to enact a brutal police state," DeFouw said in his post. "On this single page, there is more bigotry, divisive evil, lies, and malice than I could even imagine as a conspiracy theory or piece of political satire if I didn't see it with my own eyes."

It wasn't a shock when DeFouw's son brought the assignment home because his son had been texting him during his Social Studies 10 class at Valleyview Secondary School about his concerns, DeFouw tells iNFOnews.ca.

"He was texting me in class like 'you wouldn’t even believe this, dad',” DeFouw says. "The students were supposed to go through and put what they thought, and the teacher told them what was right.”

In the photo DeFouw posted to Facebook, his son blanked out his original answers and wrote down what the teacher allegedly told students was the correct answer.

"A person who is a racist", "a person who believes that a convicted murderer should be hanged", and "a person who believes that women should stay home and be mothers", all had the correct answer as "right" on the assignment.

"A person who believes that the school strap should be abolished", "a person who believes in a higher minimum wage", and "a person who believes that Canada should send aid to Third World Countries", all had the correct answer as "left".

Matt DeFouw posted this picture to Facebook, showing an assignment his high school son was given during class at Valleyview Secondary School.
Matt DeFouw posted this picture to Facebook, showing an assignment his high school son was given during class at Valleyview Secondary School.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Matt DeFouw

"My first thoughts were how can we have a school system that’s supposed to be shaping young minds to be critical thinkers when we're feeding them propaganda?" DeFouw says. "I want the students to learn everything from the most libertarian point of view to the most communist point of view... They should be talking about all of these things."

One particular statement DeFouw took issue with was the apparent insinuation that a racist person falls on the right of the political spectrum. He said his son responded to the statement with "a racist" instead of a political leaning. DeFouw says he took to Facebook after he was told by people across the province that this assignment wasn't specific to this one particular teacher, or even the Kamloops Thompson School District.

School District 73 was not able to confirm whether or not the worksheet was specific to the one class or teacher, but assistant superintendent of secondary schools, Bill Hamblett, says the assignment may have been oversimplified and some of the learning points could have been lost in that.

He also adds he doesn't know what the teacher's original intentions were in handing out the assignment, but said it likely fell under part of the curriculum which studies world views leading to different perspectives and ideas in Canadian society. Hamblett says the teacher who handed out the worksheet wants to revisit the lesson with students.

"Sometimes you have to go back and re-teach something," Hamblett says. "I think the takeaway from that particular worksheet was not well received.”

Hamblett hasn't spoken directly with the teacher, and couldn't comment on many specifics other than DeFouw had met with the principal of Valleyview Secondary School.

DeFouw says he met the principal at 9 a.m. today, and was happy with how things were handled. He posted an update on his Facebook status, which includes a letter from the school he received after his meeting. The letter is signed by the school's principal, who states in it that she spoke with the class teacher, who said the worksheet did not express a balanced view of the political spectrum, and that it oversimplified a complex issue.

The teacher also acknowledged to the principal that the issue should be revisited.

"A functional education system is the cornerstone for any democracy," DeFouw says. "The administration of Valleyview (Secondary) treated this matter with expediency. They treated this as a very serious matter.”

DeFouw says because this worksheet is available to teachers province-wide, it's a systemic problem that needs to be fixed, adding that he believes one of the biggest problems in society is divisive, identity politics. He says this is an issue his son has faced throughout high school in different classes.

"It's something that is happening over and over in school and we should have education striving for truth not indoctrination and bias."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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