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Teacher fired over controversial assignment

SPRING HILL, Fla. --  A middle school teacher has been fired after she gave students a controversial assignment that the school board found did not meet its standard.

Daryl Cox, who taught at Fox Chapel Middle School, had left a supplemental assignment for students in her Leader in Me class while she was out. 

The assignment asks the students for their reactions ranging from Not Comfortable At All to Completely Comfortable. Questions on the assignment include:

"A group of young Black men are walking toward you on the street."

"Your new roommate is Jewish."

"A friend invites you to go to a gay bar."

Cox has been fired. The Hernando County School District said she was still within her probationary period.

The questionnaire came from the book "Exploring White Privilege" by author and philosophy professor Robert Amico.

He is also the author of "Anti-Racist Teaching." which offers suggestions about how to approach the topic of race in the classroom

Amico says after teaching about racism for years he wanted to write a book on the subject to help other educators address the issue of race.

"Anti-Racist Teaching"was for teachers, while "Exploring White Privilege" was for the learners.

We reached out to Amico and he sent us this statement about the questions in the book:

 There is a survey in the appendix of my book titled "How Comfortable Am I?" under ""Self-Assessment Exercises" that offers readers an opportunity to assess their comfort levels in a variety of possible situations that cover a range of issues, including race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability, religion, and so forth. The results can direct readers to areas worth further exploration for personal growth. I hope this helps.

Hernando schools statement:

"In no way, did this assignment meet the standards of appropriate instructional material. 

"After being made aware of the assignment, school administration began an investigation and has taken immediate disciplinary action. This teacher was within her probationary period and has been released from employment."