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Utah teacher has students design ISIS poster

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Posted at 7:06 PM, Nov 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-20 19:22:56-05

SALEM, Utah — When parents got word their children were making terrorist propaganda posters in class, they demanded answers.

A teaching intern at Salem Junior High in Salem, Utah, gave what she intended to be an innocent assignment to her students: Create a terrorist propaganda poster to illustrate how terror organizations function.

ISIS assignment

The assignment didn’t sit well with some parents.

Annie Langston couldn’t believe her 14-year-old daughter Mikalia was given the assignment. “I feel that a different type of assignment or report could have been chosen,” Langston said.

To complete her assignment, 9th grade Mikalia ended up on the Internet, where she typed in, ‘how to recruit for ISIS’ into Google.

Annie told CNN affiliate KSTU she immediately contacted Principal Robert Fleming.

The school’s Facebook page reacted quickly and said the assignment was immediately withdrawn.

Mother Annie Langston and Mikalia

Mother Annie Langston and Mikalia

The intern apologized. She said her intent was to teach how extremists use propaganda to spread untruths and misunderstandings and garner support, according to Nebo School District Public Information Officer Lana Hiskey.

“She did put upfront on the assignment that was handed out that if you were uncomfortable come meet with her for an alternative assignment,” Hiskey said.

The intern teaches two world civics classes and is in charge of 60 students.

Hiskey said, “The teacher was very apologetic. You know she’s young, she’s naive and her intent was different than how it played out. She has apologized profusely, and talked to the students the next day.”

The teacher will continue to be trained with overview from an assigned mentor who was unaware of the assignment before Wednesday.