Clarkstown parent says extra credit assignment tried to sway students’ political beliefs

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A parent who has a child at a Clarkstown middle school says an extra credit assignment tried to sway students’ political beliefs. 

The four-page extra credit assignment was given to a sixth grade social studies class at Felix Festa Middle School earlier this week. 

Students were directed to read quotes and decide which party the speaker most likely belongs to - Democrat or Republican.

One of the questions read: "If I want to buy a gun, it is my constitutional right and I should not have to wait five days to get it!”

Joe Diaz says he was alarmed when he read the questions as he helped his daughter with the assignment.

He says the statements were misleading and favored Democratic views.

Clarkstown Central School District officials responded to the backlash, saying the district’s goal is to educate students, including on the political process and political parties.

The superintendent of schools told News 12 in a statement, “However, it is not our intention to politicize or to encourage students to agree or identify with a particular party or position."

Diaz believes teachers shouldn't take a political stance when giving assignments.

District officials did not say if the teacher who handed out the assignment will face disciplinary action, but they did say they are reviewing the assignment to determine its education purpose, impact and effectiveness.

 

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