'Dating' Assignment Causes Outrage

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - A Facebook post about a dating assignment for high school students has gone viral. This happened after people saw the advice on how boys and girls should act on the date. The Salt Lake City School District, and the Utah State Board Education admit the materials were inappropriate.

Jenn Oxborrow posted the assignment online after her daughter Lacy brought it home Monday. Lacy is a junior at Highland High School, and was given the assignment in her Adult Roles and Financial Literacy class. At first her mother didn't believe it.

"I was shocked," said Jenn. "I was completely disbelieving that this could be a real assignment."

Jenn and her daughter argue the advice given reinforces general bias. Some of it was basic such as being on time and polite.

For girls it suggested to "be feminine and lady like," "don't to correct or comment on his personal habits," and "eat what you order and don't waste his money."

For boys it suggested they plan the date and then inform the girl what they were doing.

"I mean this is 2017 a girl can decide what she wants to do." said Lacy. "There were just a lot of gender bias comments on those pages."

Jenn's post of the assignment was shared nearly a thousand times. Most of the comments were outraged while some didn't believe it was a big issue.

Mark Peterson is the spokesperson for the Utah State Board of Education and said they didn't know about the assignment until people called Tuesday afternoon.

"As soon as this was brought to our attention, it's clearly inappropriate, and we had it taken down," said Peterson.

He claims the curriculum was never approved by the state board, but was instead pulled from the Utah Education Network. It allows teachers to share assignments and ideas on a particular subject. Other things listed along with the dating homework were materials on "love or infatuation" and even a "Dr. Laura's love test." The site was taken down Tuesday afternoon.

Peterson said they are looking into who posted the materials, and how long they've been up. Although Jenn notes some of the comments on her post suggest students at different Utah high schools have been doing this assignment since 2011.

Lacy claims this is not the only assignment where she's seen what she calls misogynistic assignments or quizzes.

"One of the answers suggested that women come home after their careers for a second job of house keeping and childcare," said Lacy.

A spokesman for Salt Lake City School District said the assignment had an obvious bias, and they were glad it was brought to their attention.

We are told the principal talked with the teacher who said she was "mortified," and was just trying to do a fun assignment on social norms.

 


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