An Ohio teacher has resigned after giving her 10th grade class a rather questionable morality test that included scenarios about incest and animal abuse. Sarah Gillam resigned from Hilliard Bradley High School this week when her students’ parents found out about the online quiz called the Moral Foundations Test from the site IDRLabs.com.
The 36 questions asked quiz takers to slide a scale between ‘OK’ and ‘Not OK’ on moral issues. The questions, however, were entirely inappropriate, as one question noted: “Using both a condom and the pill, a brother and a sister decide that they want to sleep with each other — just once, to see what it would be like.”
Another question posed this scenario: “A man orders a custom-built sex doll designed to look just like his niece,” while another noted: “In sex education class, the students are asked to inflate a condom with their mouth.”
Other questions touched on examples of animal cruelty, with one noting: “Sarah’s dog has four puppies. She can only find a home for two of them, so she kills the other two with a stone to the head.”
Another scenario that was posed was: “While on a live on-air tv show, a man kills a baby rabbit with a knife.”
Results of the quiz determined the ‘care,’ ‘loyalty,’ ‘fairness,’ ‘authority,’ ‘purity,’ and ‘liberty’ of the taker’s responses as well as identified the political group their morality is closest to.
When Todd Sandberg’s 15-year-old son shared the details of the questions on the quiz, he was understandably outraged, posting the information on a Facebook page for the Hilliard community to alert other parents.
Sandberg told the Columbus Dispatch: “My job was to point it out,” adding,” I knew it was going to cause a firestorm.”
Parents took their outrage to the school district, who suspended Gillam and placed her on paid administrative leave while the matter is being investigated.
The school released a statement apologizing to students and parents and sharing that the quiz “should never have taken place” in the classroom. Further, the statement explained: “We absolutely share the outrage of our parents and community. It is important to understand this was an isolated incident and an activity of this nature would never be considered acceptable.”
Superintendent John Marschhausen instructed Gillam that she was not allowed to enter school grounds without permission and could not have contact with any students or district staff.
Gillam, who had been a teacher at the district since 2007, resigned following the incident.
District spokeswoman Stacie Raterman noted in a statement: “The circumstances that led to the resignation are disappointing, as she has recognized. While the district’s approved curriculum and educational materials encourage students to think critically, several items in this online quiz were simply inappropriate and inconsistent with established classroom resources.”
Further, the statement noted: “This should never have been given. The district works hard to earn the respect and support of students, parents and the community at-large and we regret any mistrust this may have caused.”
Sandberg noted that while he didn’t want to hurt the district, he felt it was important to share the details of the quiz so that other parents could talk with their kids about it.