Virginia eighth-graders won’t argue the Taliban’s point of view in a mock UN debate, reports the Washington Post. Swanson Middle School Principal Chrystal Forrester canceled the debate after some parents objected. (Among other things, parents feared kids searching for information would end up at extremist web sites.)
“Recognizing the pain that has touched many of our families and neighbors due to the terrorist attacks on the United States and acknowledging the sensitive nature of the conflict in Afghanistan involving many of our dedicated members of the U.S. armed forces, we have eliminated this topic as part of the U.N. unit of study effective immediately,” the e-mail said.
In addition to the Afghanistan conflict, students were asked to discuss: China and Taiwan; India and Pakistan; North Korea vs. Western powers; Russia and Chechnya; and Colombia vs. the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
In debate, students often are assigned to argue cases they don’t agree with. They have to work a bit harder.