A high school near Houston placed an imaginary rape scenario question on a 9th grade test
A biology teacher at a high school near Houston, Texas gave out a take-home test on a recent DNA lesson that asked their 9th grade students to figure out what suspect “raped Suzy.” The horrific test question went viral when a mom sent a photo of the test to local news outlet, KPRC 2 Houston.
The test question was issued on a Biology assignment about DNA at Klein Collins High School in Spring, Texas, and asked students to match DNA samples among suspected rapists.
The question read:
“Suzy was assaulted in an alley and is a victim of rape. The police collected a sample of sperm that was left at the crime scene and now have three suspects in custody. Which of the suspects raped Suzy?”
The test was supposedly written by the biology teacher and 90 students were exposed to the question, though the school district claims that the copy was not approved by the school or the district.
“The assignment is not part of the District’s approved curriculum and is by no means representative of the District’s instructional philosophy. The District has investigated the source of the materials and appropriate corrective action has been taken.”
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) January 14, 2020
“It’s upsetting and I know girls this age, just the thought…they know that rape is forced non-consensual sex and that upsets them,” said a mom of a 10th grade girl at the school, who teared up while adding, “That’s why I can’t fathom a teacher putting that on a test.” Another parent wondered why the school doesn’t approve test questions beforehand and how a teacher was able to go rogue like this.
Writer Emily Alford summed up the horror of this situation so well in her piece for Jezebel, writing that “apart from its inappropriateness, is that it reflects ideas about rape that high schools and colleges still cling to despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary: that rape is something only ‘felons’ do, while ignoring the fact that a student given the question on an assignment might currently be attending classes with their rapist.”
How insensitive for a school to liken a rape case to a classic “apples and oranges” text question, as if the sexual violation of a young person is totally banal fodder fit for fluffy test copy. Combine this with the fact that sexual assault charges are largely dismissed on campus and this so-called assignment becomes even more grotesque.
The school district did not state what kind of disciplinary actions the teacher would face.