School District Says Teachers Quiz On Sex, Drug Use Wasn’t Malicious

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A Utah high school teacher who was placed on leave for assigning students a questionnaire that officials and parents say inappropriately asked about student sex lives, drug and alcohol use was reinstated Friday.

Weber School District spokesman Lane Findlay said that district officials wrapped up a four-day investigation into the teacher’s use of the survey at Roy High School as part of an “Adult Roles” course teaching students about human relationships.

Findlay says Candace Thurgood, who has been teaching for 25 years, may face some “corrective action” but he declined to offer details, citing privacy policies. The district says generally, corrective actions could include counseling, a written reprimand, probation or a suspension.

The 30-question given to juniors included questions such as “Ever been kissed while in a reclining position?” and “Have you ever slipped Angel Dust (anything) into someone’s drink?” Scores to the answers rated students as “nerd,” ”indecent” or “hopeless and condemned.”

The assignment indicates the quiz may have been repurposed from a decades-old Ann Landers advice column but Findlay did not have details about where it originated. The district said in a statement Friday afternoon that it appears Thurgood has been using the questionnaire for several years but officials do not believe she had any malicious intent with the assignment.

“The purpose of the survey was to allow students to conduct a self-assessment on potentially risky teen behaviors,” the statement said.

Thurgood was put on administrative leave on Monday after parents complained about the questionnaire and said it was inappropriate.

District officials investigated her use of the questionnaire and while they felt it was inappropriate, they didn’t feel it was a fireable offense.

Thurgood did not respond to an email Friday seeking comment and declined through Findlay to be interviewed.

Officials said the survey won’t be used again.

The Standard-Examiner reported that five people held a rally in support of Thurgood outside the school Friday morning.

Former student Kelby Neilson, who graduated in 2007, said he remembered Thurgood asking his class to take the quiz.

“If I remember right she even said it was just kind of a way to look at your social status on a humorous level because all the answers at the bottom to her, and us, were humorous,” he said.

Another teacher of “Adult Roles” at a different school in the district was put on leave in 2014 after asking students to list slang terms for genitalia as part of a class exercise.

That teacher, Ashley Williams, still works for the district.

 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

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