Virginia Beach parents upset after middle school students made to take politically-inspired quiz

Posted at 10:03 PM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-16 16:05:51-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - How young is too young for politics? That's what many parents are asking after finding themselves upset at a controversial quiz distributed to Virginia Beach middle schoolers.

A spokeswoman with Virginia Beach Public Schools told News 3's Kim Cung about 95 8th grade students took a quiz as part of an activity by two teachers at Lynnhaven Middle School. The quiz is from a startup called ISideWith, which is a website intended to help voters choose who to vote for. Parents say their middle schoolers were asked their views on marital rape, transgender people in the military, abortion, gay couples' adoption rights and more. Now, Tabitha Felicia, whose daughter took the test, wants to know what the teachers were thinking.

Mom Tabitha Felicia, whose daughter took the test, wants to know what the teachers were thinking. She said she's mad and feels like it's her job as a parent to safeguard her 13-year-old daughter from some of those topics because of her age.

"I felt like they took my parental rights from me," Felicia said. "I felt like those are subjects I should address with her when I feel like she's ready. Mature and mentally ready. I don't think at 13 she was mentally ready for half of those questions."

A spokeswoman with Virginia Beach Public Schools said Friday parents will be getting this message from the school principal.

Good evening, this is Dr. Kellie Mason, principal at Lynnhaven Middle School. I’m calling you about a recent activity in your child’s 8th grade Civics class. The activity, designed to help students see connections between beliefs and political parties, contained questions about social topics which may not be appropriate for students that age. Please know that we take this matter seriously and we will not use this activity in the future.  I regret that your child was exposed to these types of questions without your prior knowledge or permission. I appreciate your understanding as we continue to look into the matter. And as always, I thank you for your support of Lynnhaven Middle School.

Virginia Beach public schools said the activity is not part of the standard curriculum, so it should not have been used without prior approval.

"Why was it given out? If it's not part of the curriculum, what were they thinking? Why did they feel it was okay to give my child this test?" questioned Felicia.