Florida Teacher Under Fire for "How Much Privilege Do You Have?" Classroom Worksheet

Source: WTSP
Source: WTSP

If your child ain't woke, keep them out of Spanish class at Monroe Middle School in Tampa, Florida. A teacher there is being disciplined after parents complained about a worksheet she had their kids fill out, which asked seventh and eighth graders to look at the different ways privilege affected their lives. 

According to WTSP,  the sheet asked students, "How much privilege do you have?" and had them circle categories that reflected their experiences. Columns for race, skin tone, sex and gender identity were prominent, as were others, such as religion, disability and sexual orientation.

Source: WTSP

Some parents weren't big fans of the idea. "Her sexuality and all that has nothing to do with school," Regina Stiles, whose 12-year-old daughter was in the class, told WTSP. "She's 12. Some of these things should be taught at home."

The teacher reportedly didn't even collect the worksheets, saying they were meant to teach students about diversity and inequality in the books they were reading. Tanya Arja, a spokesperson for Hillsborough County Public Schools, told WTSP the sheet was "teacher-generated" and "not a district form."

"It was without principal consent. At the district level, we do not collect that kind of information," she said. The teacher has since been removed from the classroom while administrators look into the matter, according to WTSP.

Source: WTSP

"Privilege" is not a new concept, but as a buzzword, it has certainly seen a resurgence as of late.. The term's most famous iteration is still Peggy McIntosh's 1988 screed "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack," which outlined the unearned societal benefits white people can rely on by virtue of their whiteness. 

But it's bigger than whiteness alone: Male privilege, privileges afforded to people without disabilities and more also have serious implications for how easily and comfortably we move in the world.

According to Stiles, another upsetting part was when the teacher reportedly said Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder was a mental illness (the Learning Disabilities Association of America said it's not even categorized as a learning disability). She told WTSP her daughter has ADHD.

"To me ADHD is not a mental illness," Stiles told WTSP. "It is something she does have." 

Maybe it's time for this teacher to look more closely at her "teacher privilege" now, amirite kids? #SchoolsOutForever?

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Zak Cheney Rice

Zak is a Senior Staff Writer at Mic.

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