By Chris Kieffer
TUPELO – Tupelo Superintendent Gearl Loden investigated a complaint about a Milam Elementary activity made on Friday by the Facebook group “Stop Common Core in Mississippi.”
The group made a post with a photo of a worksheet it said students had been given at the sixth-grade school in the roughly 7,400-student district.
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, death penalty, prayer in schools, gay marriage, pollution and flag burning.
The post also claimed that students were told “to not speak about it outside of class and to not take it home” but that a student “snuck it home.”
Loden said the worksheet was part of a discussion about the political process. Some classes used the sheet and others didn’t. He said students were not told to not discuss it with parents.
“Based upon the information that we have obtained, the school has not ‘gathered information’ about students and/or their families,” Loden said. “Furthermore, the teachers have not discouraged students from sharing what they have studied at school with their parents.
“We will verify that the unit in question is thoroughly reviewed to ensure that all content is age appropriate and aligned to our curriculum frameworks.”
Loden said the discussion came in conjunction with the recent elections and was about “democracy, the civic responsibilities of Americans and participation in the political process.”
“The discussion of civic responsibility and the political process involved an effort to better understand some of the differences between the two major political parties that drive our government,” he said.
Loden said if parents have “questions or concerns” about their children’s education, they are encouraged to call the principal and schedule a conference.