Utah School Decides Not to Make Students Create ISIS Propaganda

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Utah parents were not impressed when students brought home their schoolwork this week.Photo: Hindustan Times/2015 Hindustan Times

Thanks to a few concerned parents, a bunch of Utah ninth-graders won’t have to make ISIS propaganda after all.

This week, an unnamed first-year teacher at Salem Junior High School in Utah assigned 60 freshmen taking her world civics class to design a “neat, colored, professional” poster of terrorist propaganda, intending to “help students understand the goals of terrorist groups and the methods they use to gain support,” the Associated Press reports.

But when several parents called to complain, the middle school announced they would withdraw the assignment.

Salem Junior High recently learned from concerned parents of an assignment regarding extremists use of propaganda to...

Posted by Salem Junior High School on Thursday, November 19, 2015

We’ve had four phone calls or communication with parents that had concerns,” Lana Hiskey, a Nebo School District spokeswoman, told KUTV 2News. She added that the school doesn’t plan on taking disciplinary action against the teacher.

The class was in the middle of discussing the Middle East, terrorism, as well as propaganda used during World War II. “[The teacher] wanted the students to understand how propaganda can be wrong and lead people incorrectly,” Hiskey told the AP.

The front of the worksheet offered eight reasons young people join ISIS, and instructions on the back asked students to use what they learned to create an appealing poster, the Washington Post reports. The teacher also noted that if students felt uncomfortable, they could ask for an alternative assignment. No word on whether any students did.