Canada Isis Poster Assignment

A Utah school apologized Thursday for a classroom assignment in which students were asked to create a propaganda poster for a group such as the Islamic State to understand the goals and methods of terror groups.

The assignment at Salem Junior High School was canceled after several parents called to complain, Nebo School District spokeswoman Lana Hiskey said.

Hiskey said the assignment was given Wednesday by a first-year teacher to about 60 ninth-grade students in a world civics class. It was not approved by the school and was not a part of any official curriculum.

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Bizarre: A first-year teacher at Salem Junior High School in Utah received complaints from parents after assigning her students homework researching ISIS propaganda. Above, one of the completed assignments

Poster project: This is the assignment that the 14-year-old children were sent home with recently 

Complaints: Of the about 60 children in the class, four parents complained about the project 

'She wanted the students to understand how propaganda can be wrong and lead people incorrectly,' Hiskey said of the teacher.

School officials were first alerted to the assignment when four parents complained.

No disciplinary action was planned against the teacher, who is apologetic and has met with school administrators, said Hiskey, who declined to provide the educator's name.

The assignment came as students were discussing the Middle East, terrorism and propaganda, including the use of propaganda during World War II, Hiskey said.

KUTV-TV first reported the poster assignment.

An image of the assignment worksheet shared with the station by a parent said students should mock up a 'neat, colored, professional' poster.

Upset: Annie Langston's (left) 14-year-old daughter Mikalia (right) was one of the 60 or so students who were assigned the project

Sorry: Langston got this apology form the teacher in question, after she complained about her daughter's assignment 

The worksheet said the purpose of the poster was 'to help students understand the goals of terrorist groups and the methods they use to gain support.'

A worksheet said the poster could help students understand the goals of terrorist groups and the methods they use to gain support.

It also included a disclaimer saying any student uncomfortable with the assignment could ask for an alternative. Hiskey did not know if any students made that request.

Annie Langston's 14-year-old daughter Mikalia was one of the 60 or so students who were assigned the project and she told Fox 13 that her first reaction was 'there's no way you're going to do this assignment'.

Langston says that in the course of researching her assignment, her daughter Googled' how to recruit for ISIS' which may have triggered some unwanted attention.

After finding out about the project, Langston says she complained to the teacher in an email.

'They’ve sat down with this particular teacher, and it has been taken care of,' Langston said. 'The assignments that have already been turned in, they have been shredded.'

The teacher responded to Langston's email promptly apologizing and told her that the project had been cancelled. When she found out that her daughter had kept her finished homework assignment, she made her rip it up.

While she disagreed with the project, Langston says she doesn't want the teacher to lose her job and thinks that she has been a good teacher to her daughter otherwise.

The school is located in Salem, Utah, about 60 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Another student poster project drew complaints of Utah parents two years ago, when the state oil, gas and mining division held a contest where elementary school students were asked to create posters for Earth Day in the theme 'Where would we be without oil, gas and mining?'

Parents said it was propaganda on the part of the mining industry and missed the point of Earth Day. 

Rocky Mountains: Salem Junior High School is located in Salem, Utah, about 60 miles south of Salt Lake City

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A teaching intern at Salem Junior High in Salem, Utah, gave what she intended to be an innocent assignment to her students: Create a terrorist propaganda poster to illustrate how terror organizations function.
The assignment didn't sit well with some parents.
Mother Annie Langston told CNN affiliate KSTU she immediately contacted Principal Robert Fleming.
"I feel that a different type of assignment or report could have been chosen," Langston said.
The school's Facebook page reacted quickly and said the assignment was immediately withdrawn.
The intern apologized. She said her intent was to teach how extremists use propaganda to spread untruths and misunderstandings and garner support, according to Nebo School District Public Information Officer Lana Hiskey.
"She did put upfront on the assignment that was handed out that if you were uncomfortable come meet with her for an alternative assignment," Hiskey said.
The intern teaches two world civics classes and is in charge of 60 students.
Hiskey said, "The teacher was very apologetic. You know she's young, she's naive and her intent was different than how it played out. She has apologized profusely, and talked to the students the next day."
The teacher will continue to be trained with overview from an assigned mentor who was unaware of the assignment before Wednesday.
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