Missouri parents outraged over how class assignment portrays Republicans

Missouri Republican lawmaker Nick Schroer said the question has 'no place' in schools

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A Missouri high school is being criticized by parents and a politician for an assignment question given to students in an advanced placement government class.

The question appeared on an in-class online assignment at a Holt High School advanced placement government course. It asked students which political party is most likely to believe that the "fatal shootings of unarmed African American men by police officers" is not due to racism, according to Fox 2.

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"Teresa has heard in the news about the fatal shootings of unarmed African American men by police officers but does not think it is necessarily due to racism. Teresa is MOST likely a:…" the question stated, with the possible answers being "Democrat, black woman, Republican, Democrat-leaning woman."

The correct answer, according to the assignment, was Republicans.

A high school in Missouri is being criticized by parents and a politician for an assignment question given to students in an advanced placement government class.

A high school in Missouri is being criticized by parents and a politician for an assignment question given to students in an advanced placement government class. (Google Maps)

One parent told Fox 2 that the question appears to be written by someone who "hates Republicans" and said it's divisive.

"It felt like the question was written by somebody that just hates Republicans," the parent said.

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A spokesperson for Wentzville School District said the question is "extreme" and shifted the blame elsewhere.

"AP Government content includes learning and opportunities to think critically about political ideology. The resources used by the District are used widely nationwide and are aligned to the AP Government exam. The item encountered by the student is extreme and the District is reaching out to the resource developers to directly address this concern," the spokesperson told Fox News Digital.

The district also sent a letter to parents within the school district, stating that the question was "poorly worded" and "inappropriate, extreme, and divisive."

"There are appropriate ways to teach and assess a variety of topics, including political ideology and beliefs. The question was poorly worded. It was inappropriate, extreme, and divisive. It is important to us that students feel safe and welcome in every class and space within our schools. We apologize if any of our students felt unsafe or unwelcome," the letter states.

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A spokesperson for Macmillan Learning, which developed the curriculum, said that the company missed a question during their editorial review.

"At Bedford, Freeman & Worth Publishers (the Advanced Placement and 9-12 High School division of Macmillan Learning) everything we do is in service of our common goal with educators – to see students succeed. We work closely with our authors in the development of our textbooks and supplemental material, carefully reviewing our content. In this case, during our editorial review, we missed one question in our LearningCurve adaptive quizzing program during our editorial review that should not have been included," the spokesperson said. 

The spokesperson added that the question was in a chapter covering public opinion polling and "drew on previous polling from PEW Research."

"It was poorly constructed and it was removed within hours of us learning about it. We recognize that there were better ways we could have showcased public opinion polling, and we apologize for the disruption this has created in classrooms for educators and students," the spokesperson said.

The company is also conducting a review of their Learning Curve assessment bank.

A spokesperson for College Board, the organization overseeing AP courses, told the local outlet that it did not provide the question.

"The AP Program did not provide this question, and it does not reflect the AP course framework or the kind of content students encounter on an AP Exam. AP students are expected to analyze perspectives different from their own. They are not assessed on adherence to any ideology or viewpoint," the spokesperson said.

Nick Schroer, a Republican Missouri state representative, wrote in a Facebook post that the question has "no place" in schools.

"Many constituents have sent this to me indicating it was an actual question in Wentzville Holt High School. It is not only ridiculous, but it has no place in our schools," Schroer said.