Three teachers at Blalack Middle School in Carrollton, Texas have been suspended due to a racist question about China appearing on a social studies test. An investigation has been launched by the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD to look into the incident, as the teachers are on paid administrative leave.
The quiz asked students to identify “which of these Chinese norms is true?” The question was followed by three possible answers, including people having their lips cut off for burping at restaurants, children being given “fifty lashes by a cane if they steal a piece of candy,” and people regularly eating cats and dogs.
The racist answers were criticized by Joy Lim, whose younger sister was in the class. Joy found the question to be “wildly inappropriate” and she decided to reach out to the district to make a formal complaint, along with posting a photo of the question on social media.
my sister’s 6th grade social studies class took a quiz today and……… this is ridiculous.. harmful rhetoric in our education system is exactly why anti-asian hate crimes and racism persist today @CFBISD @BlalackMS do better pic.twitter.com/MCIjc0WI3z
— joy (@joyjuheelim) March 30, 2021
Superintendent John Chapman posted a video statement in response to the backlash, though he did not admit the question was racist and he did not apologize.
“Three employees used an inaccurate depiction about Asian Americans on a middle school social studies test. The words used for the question were inappropriate,” he said.
Several parents have spoken out against the question, saying that the teachers involved should be fired for including the question on the test, as it invokes untrue and racist stereotypes about Chinese culture.
Joy said she received a response via email but found it to be “very insincere” and said it was essentially “a copy and paste of the statement they put on Twitter.” She says the worst part is wondering what would have happened had she not noticed the question on her sister’s test and decided to speak up.
“That is the most shocking and disappointing part is that they are three educators who thought this was ok,” she said.