Ire sparks probe of Trump questions on middle school test
Plainfield School District 202 has initiated an investigation into concerns that a Timber Ridge Middle School teacher imposed her political bias on her class in the form of a test recently.
Rebecca Gomez, whose daughter attends the school, posted on social media a picture of an eighth-grade vocabulary test that asked questions about President Donald Trump.
Gomez said in the post that she is “one unhappy parent.”
“This is unacceptable to put her views into our children’s head,” she added.
The section of the test that was photographed and posted by Gomez was in a fill-in-the-blank format.
One test question reads: “It was difficult for me to __________ my feeling when I learned that Donald J. Trump had been voted in as our 45th President.”
Another reads: “After reading about President Trump's immigration ban, I did not realize how __________ the law can be.”
Gomez’s daughter was given the test almost a month ago, but it was returned only recently, according to Patch.
Will County Gazette reached out to Plainfield School District 202 leadership for comment.
“We are conducting an inquiry and review of the matter and if warranted, will take appropriate disciplinary action,” Superintendent Lane Abrell said in an email.
Tom Hernandez, the district’s director of Community Relations and Freedom of Information Act officer, replied similarly.
Both Abrell and Hernandez said that they could not comment further because it is a personnel matter.
School board member William Slabich Jr. offered a few more details.
“I can only speak a bit about this issue being it is under review right now between our board and the administration,” Slabich said. “All I can say is that I believe this is an unacceptable way to teach. Educators are supposed to teach the facts and are not to promote any possible agenda or promote any of their possible beliefs on the student body, in my opinion. To me this isn't a Trump matter when the board reviews it. This also isn't a Republican or Democrat matter when we review it."
He said his concern was a question of bias.
"The actual matter is that a teacher in my opinion seems to have created and passed out a questionnaire which lead the students in a direction to form answers that could be possibly against their particular views and could be in the views of that teacher,” Slabich said.
Some local political activists expressed outrage, including Edward Ronkowski, former chairman of the Will County Republicans, who called the teacher’s actions “inappropriate.”
“The administration needs to take steps to minimize the possibility that this teacher and other teachers will not cross the line in the future,” Ronkowski said. “The real underlying problem is the well-known liberal bias among teachers that indoctrinates the students they teach to only one viewpoint.”
Local conservative news sites and blogs picked up Gomez’s Facebook post. Former Alaska Governor and vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin posted the photo of the test questions to her personal site.
Balich said that the middle school teacher must be held accountable.
“In my opinion, it is appalling that a teacher would try and influence children like that,” he said. “It’s wrong. Why should we even make our kids do this stuff? The teacher should be let go because I don’t want a teacher like that in the system.”