MENTOR, OH — A homework assignment for sophomore biology students at Mentor High School is raising some eyebrows.
One problem asks students to figure who could be excluded as the father of a baby, based on the blood types of the baby, the mother and a pool of four men.
At least one Mentor parent was alarmed when her 15-year-old daughter showed her the assignment, and she saw that the potential fathers of the baby were identified as “Sammy the Playa,” “George the Sleeze,” “the waiter,” or “the cable guy.”
In another problem, the possible fathers were identified as “the bartender,” “the guy at the club,” “the cabdriver” or “the flight attendant”.”
“I can’t shield her from the world completely, but it is her education, and I just feel like they worded it completely wrong,” said parent Brandy Feldner.
We showed the assignment to a number of parents and some felt it was a typical biology lesson.
“I would think that it would be important, maybe not the exact name of the person I would think, but as far as knowing your type and my type and being able to figure that out, that’s a medical thing I would think,” said Ron Parnell.
Others found the choice of names for the potential fathers to be ill-advised.
“I’m not politically correct normally, and I think kids in high school see that stuff on TV, they see Jerry Springer, and who’s the baby’s momma. That being said, it’s a little troubling,” said parent Jennifer Hearn.
“I think they should put on instead of that is not to produce stereotypes, but to put on father A, or possible father A, possible father B, possible father C,” said parent Karel Slitz.
After Fox 8 contacted the Mentor Board of Education, the principal of the high school spoke with the biology teacher, who indicated that she had taken the standardized assignment from a resource website used by teachers.
The school district issued a statement that reads:
“We sincerely apologize. We agree that two of the questions used in a recent 10th grade biology homework assignment are inappropriate and were chosen in poor taste. Our district will use this as a learning experience to practice careful consideration and exercise good judgment when navigating through teacher resources to ensure this does not happen in the future.”
In response, Brandy Feldner said of her daughter, “I’m glad she came to me, that way we could point it out and fix it, hopefully to stop it.”
By Jack Shea