While we would like to see all students succeed in school and work hard, there can be such a thing as taking things too far.
In an attempt to make a point about the dangers and controversies of animal cruelty, a student at Franklin High School in Ohio compared the harmful concept to the subjects of racism and sexism.
The slides from the presentation have not been made available to the public, but it was reported the student included these questions, among others:
"Was slavery okay?"
"Do women deserve the right to vote?"
Those slides also included controversial responses to these questions by belittling women and deeming Black people as "inferior."
While they may have been attempting to think critically and use hyperbole in an effort to make a point about their stance against animal cruelty, students and parents in the community believed the student behaved inappropriately, citing the examples in the presentation as derogatory, racist, sexist and harmful.
While the school board of Franklin agreed these examples were problematic, they otherwise recognized the presentation as an example of critical thinking and argumentative reasoning. Due to this, they made it clear they did not condone the student's examples of racism and sexism, but the student was otherwise not taken to task for their presentation.
You can see more in local news coverage here:
District Superintertendent Michael Sander said about the situation:
“The Franklin City School District is aware of a student presentation that was recently shared on social media and the internet. Regardless of the intent, the presentation includes some offensive slides that the District does not condone."
"Although state and federal privacy laws prohibit the District from discussing the specific actions we have taken with respect to the student and staff member involved, we want to assure the community that we have taken appropriate action to address the issue and prevent similar actions from occurring in the future."
"The District will have no further comment on this matter at this time.”
A mother of one of the presenter's classmates came forward, saying the student should have been expelled.
"He has the whole presentation about being misogynistic and racist... He should be expelled from the school."
"It matters a lot to me because I'm Biracial. My kids are biracial."
"This is something that Black people have been fighting for hundreds of years. It should not still be going on."
The mother was not alone in the community, as fellow classmates and parents noted being uncomfortable with the language used in the presentation slides.
The internet was slightly torn, however.
Some thought the student handled the situation poorly but was trying to make a sound argument.
But others were concerned by the racist and sexist remarks of the presentation, and history at Franklin High School.
While the student may have been trying to have a discussion about the harm of animal cruelty, and the way some people view animals and their rights, the student could have made their point without invoking the language of racism and sexism.
It was inevitable unintended targets would be hurt in the process.