Parents Say Zombie Assignment at Minnesota High School Promoted Violence, Bullying

November 22, 2017 05:12 PM

Parents at a western Minnesota high school are upset over a writing assignment they say promotes violence and bullying.

This month, ninth grade students at Parkers Prairie High School were asked to name three people they would sacrifice in a zombie apocalypse, and why they would pick them to die. Parkers Prairie is about 25 miles north of Alexandria.


Some parents complained to the school, saying the assignment promotes violence and bullying.

"I was appalled, I was in shock," parent Michelle Diedrich said. "Of all the school shootings, of all the bullying, now we're telling children to pick three kids."

The school has been using a curriculum that features a zombie narrative to teach geography for about three years. The Zombie-Based Learning curriculum was designed to encourage problem solving and critical thinking skills, and be engaging yet academically rigorous, according to the website. The idea became a reality in 2012 after a Seattle-area educator was able to raise enough money via a Kickstarter campaign. 

Parkers Prairie High School principal Carey Johnson says she conducted an investigation into the assignment before parent complaints.

"The teacher addressed it right away in class the next time he saw the students," Johnson said. "And he apologized for any due stress he may have caused to any students and guaranteed that this assignment would not be graded, it would be discarded." 

The school would not say if any discipline was taken against the teacher. The assignment the teacher used was not part of the Zombie curriculum. 


Joe Mazan

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