EDMOND, Okla. - A local biology teacher's multiple choice question about abortion is upsetting students' parents.
Edmond Santa Fe High School officials confirmed Tuesday several biology teachers at the school gave their students a "non graded exercise" - a discussion starter - on human genetic disorders.
"You've found out that the child you (or your wife) carries has the gene for dwarfism. A new therapy exists that may repair this gene before the
child is born. What do you do?" the first question on the exercise asks.
- A. Allow the child to be born with the gene, and we will accept the child as is.
- B. Attempt the new therapy to repair the gene.
- C. Terminate Pregnancy.
On a Facebook page for Oklahoma Parents and Educators for Public Education, reaction was mixed.
"This is not a subject I want my child discussing in class," one person said. "Ethics and beliefs are for home, not school."
"That's not education but indoctrination. Don't teach kids to be Democrats or Republicans," another post said.
"Abortion is a subject many parents would rather discuss with their children," wrote one person. "It is more than just an ethics question."
However, other posts supported the discussion.
"There are no right answers. If the teacher is good, they will make the students discuss and defend their answers," said one post.
"From someone who is married to a biology teacher... whether it's right or wrong, it's teaching our kids to think," another post said.
District Spokesperson Susan Parks-Schlepp emphasized students did not have to participate in the exercise if they felt uncomfortable, and those
who did participate were not given a grade.
"For each of the scenarios below, circle the letter that matches your decision, tomorrow we will work together and discuss as a team," the exercise said at the top of the page.
Parks-Schlepp said the test was given to five different biology classes, and in most of those classes, students did not fill it out.
"There was no punishment for any of the choices that they circled," she said. "It was meant to be a discussion."
Teachers did not try to impose their abortion beliefs on students, she said. They were studying genetic mapping and wanted to encourage critical
"Abortion just isn't right in my mind. I don't like the idea of it" one Santa Fe HS student said Tuesday.
Another student said reputations can be ruined by talking about their stance on abortion.
"People talk about quizzes and they talk about things in class," she said. "It would make me feel uncomfortable because I don't know if I could get hurt by what I say, or not."
The district will review the biology class exercise and decide if it is appropriate to continue asking the abortion question.
You can view the exercise in the photo gallery below.