'Inappropriate' Student Assignment Causes Stir At JCSD1

JCSD1 Board of Trustees

A controversy over a student's assignment deemed “inappropriate” and a substitute teacher's belief that not enough was done by school district administration to correct the issue has sprung up at Clear Creek Middle School in Buffalo.

The Board of Trustees for Johnson County School District One were notified of the issue before their last school board meeting April 4th in Kaycee, and the issue was discussed further during the meeting.

Board Chairman Marcy Schueler, in a separate interview, explained that a student brought in an assignment that was deemed “inappropriate” by the teacher and was told he would need to do an alternate assignment.
She explained that the student was to make up a game featuring what they had learned about the Mexican-American War. The offensive image from the student's assignment was a cartoon-type drawing of a stereotypical Mexican male with a knife sticking out of him that said “Pin the knife on the Mexican.”

Schueler said that substitute teacher John Egan was teaching in the classroom soon after and found the student's assignment, was troubled with it, and brought it to the attention of the school principal.

Egan brought the incident to the attention of the school board at their meeting, and had released the information to various sources as well, according to Schueler, with the story since being featured in state and regional news outlets.

Schueler said everyone involved in the incident deemed the assignment as inappropriate and stressed the incident had been dealt with to the satisfaction of all involved except Mr. Egan.

Schueler said the next step, she believes, is using the unfortunate incident as a learning tool for the student, school staff and district administration.

Schueler said she believes “people have to act sensitively toward others that may take issue with something like this, because there may be something there that you can learn from.”