A Utah middle school teacher last week assigned an argumentative essay for her sixth grade students comparing protein sources. Students who ate an insect provided by the teacher reportedly earned extra credit.
“Recently, students just wrapped up a unit on if bugs are a good source of protein or not which culminated in an extra exciting day where students could even try out a bug if they wanted to,” a statement from Nebo School District’s Spring Canyon Middle school said. “Middle-schoolers loved the “ewww” factor, many of them gave bugs a try (and even a few staff members!).”
School administrators portray the assignment as arguing whether bugs are a better source of protein than cows, “or not.” Teacher Kim Cutler reportedly accepted only one argument. Students were required to argue humans should replace protein from cows by eating insects.
Fox News further reported:
A middle school in Utah’s Nebo School District gave sixth-grade students “disgusting” insects to eat last week as part of an English assignment on climate change, claiming it would save the environment from cows which were “killing the world,” according to a mom who spoke with Fox News Digital.
“Middle schoolers loved the ‘ewww’ factor, many of them gave bugs a try (and even a few staff members!). Many thanks to our English teachers for creating fun and engaging lessons,” the Spring Canyon Middle school said about the March 7 assignment.
Bugs were purchased from a commercial site that is “safe for consumption,” the district said.
The mother of one of the students – Amanda Wright – told Fox News she believed the kids were being subjected to “indoctrination” into a “dark climate change religion.” She challenged the school’s principal Alison Hansen on the assignment after her daughter found it uncomfortable.
The climate change assignment instructed sixth-graders to write an argumentative essay, but did not permit students to disagree. The only acceptable answer was that humans should eat insects for their protein instead of cows, which are destroying the Ozone layer with methane gas.
Some students were given extra credit as an incentive to eat the insects.
Wright complained to the administration, and set up a meeting which she recorded.
“[My daughter] wasn’t given an option to give an argument,” Wright said about the argumentative essay in the meeting.
“Well, the assignment was about finding facts to support,” Hansen said.
“All the evidence has suggested, that we probably should be eating bugs – it’s good for the environment, etc. But I didn’t know that that was an offensive topic to indicate,” teacher Kim Cutler said, according to an audio recording.
A separate video recording was taken by Wright’s daughter in the classroom.
“How come we can’t state our opinion and write that we shouldn’t be eating bugs?” she asked Cutler.
“Because we don’t have any evidence to support it,” Cutler said.
“It’s kind of weird that I gave you a topic where there is only one right answer. We don’t want to eat bugs and it’s gross. But should we be eating bugs? Yeah, because we’re killing the world by raising cows and animals. So we need to, not get rid of cows, but like, try to balance our diet so that not so much of our land is being used to raise cows, cause it’s killing the Ozone layer.”
“What if you wanted to – ” the student interrupted.
The teacher said, “You don’t have any evidence to support it. There’s only one right answer to this essay. And it’s that Americans should be eating bugs. Everyone in the world is eating them, it’s healthy for the environment and there’s just, there’s only one right answer.”
Cutler later explained in a meeting with the parent that the “indoctrination” that humans must eat bugs to protect the environment was provided in a district training.
She explained that she did not know there were downsides to eating bugs – and apologized for not allowing students to write about an alternative perspective.
“I am not aware of the agenda part,” she said. “I am sorry for that… it wasn’t intending to harm anyone.”
In a statement, the district said, “On the questions about extra credit: Yes, the teacher said sure you can have bonus points, almost as an afterthought. There are multiple opportunities for extra credit or bonus points in this class.”
“[W]hen the teacher realized there was concern, the student was offered another topic of the student’s choice. Remember this particular assignment is about finding facts versus opinions to support writing an argumentative essay,” the spokesperson continued. “Our district, schools, and teachers do encourage parents and students to come to us with their concerns. We want to continue to be partners in the education of children.”
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