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Racial bias test at Auburn Junior High sparks parent concern

Some Auburn Junior High School parents have complained to district officials about the appropriateness of a test given to seventh-grade English students that was aimed at gauging racial bias.

Sara DeAngelis, a parent of a student at the school, wrote in a Facebook post Friday that her son and other students in teacher Kelly Sue Haines’ class were given a race implicit-association test on Thursday meant to determine racial biases in a person. The social media post gained considerable attention, garnering nearly 130 comments and dozens of shares and reactions as of 5 p.m. Friday.

DeAngelis wrote that the children were told they were required to take the test. She said she wished some kind of correspondence had been sent home explaining the test and asking if parents were OK with their child taking it.

DeAngelis wrote in her post that students were given test results saying whether or not they favor white or black people, and then directed to put their results on notes to post on a board for everyone to see.

“Several kids expressed that they were uncomfortable doing this, but the teacher stated that they were required to do so,” DeAngelis wrote. “I have spoken to a few parents that are upset about this as well. Saying that their child is now so confused because their results state that they are racist towards a certain race, when they never gave this a second thought before this test. … I do not believe that 12 and 13 year olds should have been required to take a test such as this.”

In an interview Friday, DeAngelis said as far she is aware, no other teachers gave the test. She said she is concerned about her son “second-guessing himself,” as she said she has raised him to be respectful of others. She is worried about students who took the test worrying if they are racist.

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