‘Grammar exercise’ distributed to students in Mission school raises concerns

Click to play video: 'Questionable school grammar assignment' Questionable school grammar assignment
WATCH: Controversy is hanging over a Mission classroom after a Grade 8 grammar assignment escalated into a red flag warning over disturbing content. John Hua explains – Feb 15, 2017

A “grammar exercise” distributed at a school in Mission is raising some eyebrows.

The assignment was distributed to Grade 8 students at Hatzic Middle School and a copy of it was sent to Global News on Tuesday. It contains disturbing language describing what sounds like a domestic violence incident.

Angus Wilson, the Superintendent of Schools in Mission, confirmed to Global News the assignment did indeed come from Hatzic Middle School, but was a sample of student writing.

“The assignment was for students to write from the perspective of someone during the Middle Ages,” Wilson said.

He said one of the students chose to submit the assignment that’s now in question.

Wilson said the teacher then decided to re-purpose the assignment and use it as a grammar exercise with the permission of the student.

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He reiterates a number of students’ writings were used. Wilson could not say if the assignment was handed out as homework to the entire class.

“As this is a personnel issue, I am not presently going to comment on the judgement call, and I cannot discuss the investigation,” he said.

WATCH: Parents shocked by Hatzic Middle School grammar exercise

Click to play video: 'Parents shocked by Hatzic Middle School grammar exercise' Parents shocked by Hatzic Middle School grammar exercise
Parents shocked by Hatzic Middle School grammar exercise – Feb 15, 2017

A number of local residents told Global News they were shocked to find out about the teacher’s decision.

“I don’t think it is really appropriate, especially for Grade 8 students,” one woman told Global News. “If I were the teacher, I would have chosen something else.”

“This is bizarre. I don’t know what the teacher’s intention was,” another resident told Global News. “I would think there would be a different assignment to choose to teach somebody verb tenses. This is insensitive and not well thought-out.”

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A retired teacher who used to work for the district says someone should have spoken with the student to see if he or she needed help.

“It was distinctly a cry for help from some student and for the teacher that sent that home as a grammar assignment, it’s just totally inappropriate.”

Wilson said they will be conducting a formal investigation to find out what happened and see if any corrective measures need to be taken.

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