High School

Abortion question on online Utah high school exam generates complaints, investigation

An abortion question on a final exam for an online high school has prompted complaints from parents and an investigation by the Utah State Board of Education.

The question asks what a woman and her family should do after a doctor recommends that she have an abortion because genetic testing shows the child could be born with Down syndrome, Fox 13 Now reports.

Students are given four chocies: waiting and re-testing; considering all factors like religion and finances before deciding; following the doctor’s advice to abort; and leaving the decision up to the mother.

The question showed up on a final biology exam administered by the Utah Electronic High School, the station reported.

"The first thing through my mind was, this question violates Utah law," said Oak Norton of the group Utahns Against Common Core told the station. "It's totally inappropriate for a classroom. No student should have this kind of question asked of them.”

Norton posted a cellphone photo of the question on the Utahns Against Common Core website this week after getting it from a 10th grader taking the exam, according to Fox 13 Now.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the question was removed from the online school’s computer-based tests Thursday after parent complaints.

Principal Kathleen Webb told the paper the question did appear to have been written by the school’s biology teacher.

“The instant that I found it with her, we removed it from the test bank,” Webb told the paper. “It is not available to students.”

Utah Interim Deputy Superintendent Richard Nye said he’s trying to determine how many students were given the question.

“That item has no place in a public education test,” he told Fox 13 News. “It’s something that we find deplorable.”

He said the question was randomly selected by a computer from a bank of hundreds of questions.

He said not even the teacher knew it was on the test.

Click for more from Fox 13 Now.