Facebook group retracts portion of Milam report

By Chris Kieffer

Daily Journal

TUPELO – A Facebook group that said Milam Elementary teachers told students not to tell their parents about an assignment retracted that report on Monday night.

The group “Stop Common Core in Mississippi” said it had been notified that the assignment did happen but that students were not instructed to keep it from parents.

On Friday, the group made a post with a photo of a worksheet it said students had been given at the sixth-grade school. The worksheet asked students if they were Republican or Democrat and stated the belief of each party on an assortment of issues – abortion, gun control, health care, taxes, military, the death penalty, prayer in schools, gay marriage, pollution and flag burning.

The post also claimed students were told “to not speak about it outside of class and to not take it home” but that a student “snuck it home.”

That post drew more than 860 likes and 1,200 comments on Facebook.

However, the group posted on Monday it had been notified by the parent who reached out to it “that this was a misunderstanding.”

“Her daughter was not told to keep it from her parents,” the post said. “Our understanding is that there was NO discussion with the children on whether or not to discuss with parents at home.”

The group said it does have concerns with the worksheet, which it called “wholly inappropriate for 6th graders.” The options given for Republicans and Democrats were “at best simplistic and at worst erroneous,” it said.

Tupelo Superintendent Gearl Loden had said on Saturday that the district had investigated the complaint and found that teachers had not discouraged students from sharing what they learned with their parents.

He also said the district would verify the unit in question is “thoroughly reviewed to ensure that all content is age appropriate and aligned to our curriculum frameworks.”