Teacher Gives Middle Schoolers Quiz Over ‘Mistress’ and ‘Boy Toy’

middle schoolers

Middle schoolers have it rough on a variety of levels: these years are prime time for puberty, emotional highs and lows, and bullying. For many reasons, it can be a tough and confusing time (as the mother of two middle schoolers myself, I promise you I am speaking the truth!) One would hope that their teachers can be a positive and stabilizing force for these middle schoolers, but in the case of one group of sixth-graders at a Virginia school, a teacher’s actions this week just caused confusion and uproar.

Why? Because he or she gave students THIS “family quiz” for “Family and Consumer Sciences” class. It starts off ok, but check out the four questions at the bottom!

middle schoolers
Photo: Twitter

You have to SEE it to believe it. A teacher gave a group of sixth-grade middle schoolers a “family quiz” with the questions:

What do you call it when a married person has a relationship with someone else? Answer: an affair

What do you call a married man’s girlfriend? Answer: Mistress

What do you call the much younger boyfriend of an older woman? Answer: Boy Toy

What do you call the much younger and beautiful wife of an older, wealthy man? Answer: Trophy wife

I think I speak for all parents everywhere when I say: WHAT IN THE WORLD??????

Parents quickly complained (I mean, obviously!!!) and the local news picked up the story.

“It was highly inappropriate for a teacher to bring this up in a family class,” said one parent. Frankly I think she understated the matter. I think the topics of affairs, mistresses, and boy toys are PG-13 at the very least  (and most sixth graders are 11 and 12 years old) and appropriate for school…NEVER. NEVER!! There is never any reason for a student to learn about extramarital affair’s and have men and women classified into “mistresses,” “trophy wives,” and “boy toys” in school. That this happened completely boggles my mind.

The school district was quick to investigate and discovered that the teacher had downloaded the worksheet from the Internet and it was not a part of the regular curriculum for the class. The superintendent issued the following statement on the school district Facebook page:

Good Afternoon, here is the statement related to the worksheet that was distributed at Carter G. Woodson Middle School.

“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. 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. Additional controls and School Board Office supports have been put in place. At this point, this matter has become a personnel issue and no further comment is appropriate.”

Melody Hackney, Superintendent

The last line “no further comment is appropriate” kind of makes me laugh a little. If I was a parent at that school, I probably would be making comments about this incident for a long time to come!

While I have no doubt that this will not happen again at that school, this is just one more lesson for us parents to be vigilant. We need to talk to our kids about these issues and teach them what we believe at home. Like it or not, teachers are very influential in our kids’ lives. I believe that most of the time this is a good thing. But there are certainly times when teachers will attempt to impress values or opinions on their students that we as parents do not share. So make sure your kids know what you believe and why.

Have your children ever received an appropriate assignment at school? I’d love to hear what you did about it in the comments.


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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.