A middle school assignment at Roberts Middle School sparked an uproar when students were asked to decide who they would leave behind if the world was about to end. 

Using religion, sexual orientation, age, race, and other descriptions, students in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, had to choose who they would rescue from an apocalypse. 


The controversial assignment directed students to pick eight out of 12 people to put on a space ship and take to a different planet because Earth was about to be destroyed. 

Some examples included a Native American who did not speak English, homosexual professional athlete, and a racist armed police officer. 

Parents called the activity insensitive and inappropriate— especially for middle schoolers.

Bernadette Hartman told WKYC the class work made her son uncomfortable.

Referencing a description on the list she said: 

“What does her being Muslim have to do with it … What does being female have to do with it?

This paper divides. It doesn’t pull anybody together.”

The mom said the eighth grade social studies activity left her loss words.


Cuyahoga Falls Ward 6 City Councilman Adam Miller spoke to the unidentified teacher who said the purpose of the assignment was to promote diversity.

Miller criticized the assignment for possibly implanting students with “prejudicial thoughts.” He said: 

“I think the parents should have been made aware the assignment was happening so they can put certain terms within that project into context.”

And concerned parents told Miller the activity was questionable. 

Denise Petron, the grandmother of one of the students, said:

“What did he expect to get out of this?

I think the whole curriculum needs to be more monitored so opinions of the faculty aren’t injected into the classroom.”

Superintendent Todd Nichols met with the teacher on Thursday and will investigate the incident on Monday with the school district. 

Nichols told Cleveland.com, “We take the matter very seriously, we are investigating it and we expect it to be completed very early next week with a resolution,” although he didn’t hear any reaction from students after the assignment was given.

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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