A debate teacher at Oklahoma’s Mustang High School wanted to spark a conversation with students about President Trump’s “lies,” but instead ignited a firestorm of criticism that forced district officials to douse the biased assignment.
A picture of the assignment reviewed by KFOR read: “It was announced that President Trump openly lied to the American people, Congress, and the Senate 15,413 times. This means he has lied, on average, 14 times daily,” since he took office.
Students in the school’s debate class were asked to ponder the meaning of the statistics, without any prompt to consider whether they are accurate or misleading.
“What are the ramifications of this?” one question read.
“We cannot stop someone from lying but how can we get the truth on matters that affect us daily?” another read.
“If you, or someone you know, ‘doesn’t care,’ why?”
“In 1,095 days, President Trump has made 16,241 false or misleading claims,” the site proclaims.
The Fact Checker even comes with a large ramp-shaped graphic illustrating the allegedly escalating Trump falsehoods and an in-depth database to nit-pick every word he’s ever uttered as POTUS.
“I thought ‘Man. What in the world?” Karen Oakley, grandparent of Mustang High School students, told KFOR, referring to her reaction to the assignment.
“This isn’t Mustang. It’s not the way that we think. Meaning, it’s so biased,” she said. “Everyone has their opinions and their beliefs and everyone’s free to put it out. But not to where it’s just one-sided.”
Folks who sounded off online weren’t impressed, either.
“No wonder high school/college aged kids are misinformed,” Michael Perez posted on Facebook.
“TEACHER SHOULD BE FIRED,” Rickey Dale Crain added.
Others offered a different perspective.
“Kids NEED to learn how to discuss politics, if you look around at most adults talking about politics it is always some toxic fight because we aren’t taught young how to discuss them logically,” a local told KFOR.
Regardless, the kerfuffle convinced district officials to intervene and put an end to the assignment, which they conceded “presented only one side of the issue.”
“In a debate class it is appropriate for students to discuss controversial topics which could include various political viewpoints, however it is never the intent for the school to be in a position to influence or sway a students’ opinions on such topics,” officials wrote in a prepared statement.
“The question was posed in a way that presented only one side of the issue and has been removed from future classes. We understand that this question unintentionally caused a lot of frustration from students and the community, which distracts from the instructional objective,” the statement continued.
“Mustang High School will continue to challenge our students but will also be mindful that we are not presenting educational opportunities in a way that could be perceived as to influence our students on political views.”