Teacher who created controversial worksheet blames ‘sloppy user’

Posted at 10:54 AM, Nov 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-14 10:57:18-05

HOPEWELL, Va. -- The teacher who created the school worksheet that outraged parents in Hopewell has responded to the controversy.

Educator Philip Roeland said "don't shoot the maker."

"Those worksheets are fully editable, and for use in EFL/ESL classrooms, freely downloadable by teachers around the world," Roeland said. "Clearly the last questions are to be used in the adult classroom, and I agree that some content should be edited if this is given to younger learners."

The controversy erupted Friday after angry and confused parents discovered the assignment given to Family & Consumer Science students at Carter G. Woodson Middle School.

The "Family Quiz" worksheet began with some straight-forward questions like, "What do you call the father of your father?" and "What do you call the sister of your father?"

But the last four questions of the 20-question worksheet took an edgier turn, asking students to define terms like "Trophy Wife" or "Boy Toy."

Many parents questioned how the assignment was ever approved for the classroom.

Turns out, it wasn't.​

"We have determined that a teacher downloaded this worksheet from the Internet," Hopewell Schools Superintendent Dr. Melody Hackney said in a statement. "This content was not a part of the current and approved curriculum for this course nor was it in any way an appropriate learning tool for middle school aged children. This assignment was also not included or referenced in the teacher's weekly lesson plans that are reviewed and approved in advance of instruction."

Roeland agrees the responsibility falls on the teacher who assigned the sheet to the students.

"Don't shoot the maker," he said. "But criticize the sloppy user."



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