High school apologizes for 'insensitive' assignment given to students titled 'Does Nikolas Cruz Deserve to Die?'

·Alexis Shaw
Coral Glades High School is apologizing after students were given an assignment titled “Does Nikolas Cruz Deserve to Die?” (Credit: Twitter)
Coral Glades High School is apologizing after students were given an assignment titled “Does Nikolas Cruz Deserve to Die?” (Credit: Twitter)

Administrators at a Florida high school are apologizing after a teacher distributed a reading comprehension quiz to ninth-grade students that prompted a backlash.

A Coral Glades High School teacher handed out the assignment, titled “Does Nikolas Cruz Deserve to Die?” to students on Friday in Orlando, Fla., news station WFTV reported. The school assignment included an article about capital punishment that was published in the New York Times’s Upfront Magazine on Oct. 8.

The magazine, made and distributed in partnership with Scholastic, “empowers students to think critically about today’s most important news stories,” according to its website.

Cruz is accused of killing 17 students on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Cameron Kasky, who survived the shooting and has since gone on to co-found March For Our Lives, tweeted a photo of the assignment, calling it “pathetic.”

Coral Glades High School issued a statement on its website Friday afternoon saying it had pulled the assignment with “insensitive content.”

“Coral Glades High School administration was unaware that an assignment, which included insensitive content concerning Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had been distributed to students today,” the statement read. “The material was from a subscription-based publication, used as a curriculum resource. The school’s leadership has pulled the assignment, is instituting an approved review process of all such materials and regrets that this incident occurred. Broward County Public Schools is working with the publisher to make them aware of our concerns.”

The Scholastic Corporation issued a statement to WFTV on the assignment:

“(The New York Times Upfront) is a current events magazine published by Scholastic for students in grades 9 through 12, created to provide balanced, age-appropriate information that can be used as teaching resources in the classroom. Each issue of the magazine is accompanied by a teacher’s guide, and contains information designed to help inform classroom discussions and activities. The Oct. 8, 2018, issue of (The New York Times Upfront) contained an article about capital punishment with a headline that referenced the perpetrator of the tragic Parkland shootings. A quiz in the accompanying teacher’s guide also mentioned the perpetrator by name. The article and the quiz were intended only to provide a platform for meaningful conversations around the history, civics and social impact of the death penalty. We deeply regret if the use of this real life example added in any way to the ongoing suffering of the students, families and educators of the Parkland community.”

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