Parents concerned after Wake Forest teacher passes out ‘diversity inventory’ worksheet

Wake County News

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) – A Wake Forest mom says she is appalled after seeing her son’s high school English assignment.

On the second day of school at Heritage High in Wake Forest, Dina Bartus says her 10th-grade son was handed this worksheet in English class.

Credit: Dina Amato-Bartus
CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE

“He actually broke down and started crying because he said, ‘I felt so uncomfortable, but felt so on the spot that I had to do it.’ He said the pressure was just incredible, and my son doesn’t cry easily, so it really really bothered him,” explained Bartus.

The worksheet, titled ‘Diversity Inventory,’ asked students to share their race, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and religious beliefs. Bartus shared a photo of the assignment on Facebook.

“When some kids were kind of hesitant to do it she said, ‘Hey, it’s OK because I used to be a Catholic and now I’m an atheist and I’m bi-sexual.’ So, needless to say, my son was a little shocked that this was happening in what’s supposed to be an English class,” Bartus said.

Bartus demanded her son be removed from the class. She says she emailed the principal twice before she heard anything back.

“It’s hard enough going to high school without having your teacher call you out and lump you into a category — and not a category like ‘do you like football or baseball?’ A category of, ‘who do you want to have sex with?’ That’s unacceptable,” said Bartus.

CBS 17’s Kelly Kennedy took these parents concerns to the Wake County School District. The school says the principal reviewed the activity and told the teacher to discontinue the lesson immediately.

The school sent a statement that reads:

This week, a teacher conducted a classroom activity that included a worksheet titled Diversity Inventory. After learning of concerns from a parent, the principal reviewed the activity and resource and directed the teacher to discontinue the lesson immediately. 

While we value efforts to build a classroom community that is inclusive and respectful of all students and backgrounds, the Wake County Public School System also respects and values student privacy and their right to engage in discussion about personal identity when they are comfortable to do so.  The Diversity Inventory worksheet in question is not a district-provided resource. We will continue to work with educators on how to effectively lead important conversations connected to identity, culture, and other sensitive topics as appropriate.

We appreciate the parent bringing this concern to the school’s attention.  Parental involvement is crucial to student success.  Students and parents should always speak with their teacher and principal about any assignment that they have questions about or that cause them concern. 

Lisa Luten, Wake County Public School System Communications Director

Bartus thinks the school needs to do more. She wants to see this teacher fired.

“I don’t think she belongs in the classroom, or at least with minors,” Bartus said.

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