Middle schoolers get quizzed on terms like ‘affair’ and ‘boy toy’
Middle school requires learning some pretty complicated things (looking at you, quadratic equation). But while math class might leave kids scratching their heads, it’s a home economics assignment that has a Richmond, Virginia community concerned. Students in a Family and Consumer Sciences class at Carter G. Woodson Middle School were given a “Family Quiz” that covered relationship terms some parents say their kids are way too young to learn about, like “trophy wife” and “boy toy.”
What in the world? OK parents and teachers — Tell me what you think about this worksheet apparently assigned to students at one local middle school class.
The worksheet starts out straightforward enough, with questions like, “What would you call the father of your father?” (Grandfather) and “What do you call the son of your parent? (Brother). It then branches out to address titles divorced and/or blended families might encounter, such as “What do you call it when a married couple legally breaks up?” (Divorce). So far, so good.
It’s the last four questions of the assignment when things really get dicey.
“What do you call it when a married person has a relationship with someone else?” (An affair)
“What do you call a married man’s girlfriend?” (Mistress)
“What do you call the much younger boyfriend of an older woman?” (Boy toy)
“What do you call the much younger and beautiful wife of an older, wealthy man? (Trophy wife)
Thumbs up to the kid who filled out this bizarre worksheet, because an A is still an A, even if the assignment is a strange one. But we’re still all kinds of confused as to why the worksheet exists in the first place. Unless they’re watching soap operas after school on the regular, does an 11-year-old really need to be taught what a boy toy is?
Regardless of how well their kids did on the assignment, some parents weren’t pleased when their children came home with the worksheet. “I couldn’t believe that an educator would be giving something like that an 11-year-old,” parent Tara Sample told WTVR. “No one in the schools system needs to be teaching my daughter what a mistress is or a trophy wife or boy toy. It’s inappropriate for a school. Period. We send our kids there to learn math, reading, science and history not to learn this other stuff that goes on in the world that they eventually going to learn anyways.”
The good news is this worksheet isn’t part of the school’s official curriculum. It turns out the teacher downloaded it from an free online ESL resource website designed to “share worksheets around the world.”
And while we can’t protect our kids from learning about these terms on the playground (or just asking Alexa) it seems the school is committed to making sure this assignment doesn’t make its way into the classroom again. “We were made aware last evening of the Facebook coverage of the assignment given to students in the Family and Consumer Sciences program at our middle school. We immediately began to investigate,” Hopewell Schools Superintendent Dr. Melody Hackney said in a statement to WTVR. “Upon further review, we have determined that a teacher downloaded this worksheet from the Internet. This content was not a part of the current and approved curriculum for this course nor was it in any way an appropriate learning tool for middle school aged children. This assignment was also not included or referenced in the teacher’s weekly lesson plans that are reviewed and approved in advance of instruction.”