LONG BEACH, CA – Everyone hates taking tests, but this exam question spurred controversy and now an investigation by Cal State University at Long Beach. The health sciences take-home test asked students which ethnic gang is least likely to do graffiti. Their choices were: “Black,” “White,” “Asian” or “Hispanic,” according to NBC.
“I just thought it was pretty offensive,” Alex Rambo, the student that posted the question online, told the news station.
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The lecturer, Matt Fischer, said the question was included because the class had discussed the topics of gangs and graffiti, but Rambo disputes this.
“I don’t remember going over anything about gangs in class,” he said, according to Yahoo Mail. “The question was pretty offensive.”
Fischer has taught the course for five semesters, according to the news website. The health sciences course covers many topics including drugs, sexuality and violence, according to the school.
“I’m not calling him a racist, but I do think that the question was definitely insensitive,” Rambo said.
The lecturer, who is white, was surprised at the backlash the question received, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported. He insists that no offense was intended.
Cal State Long Beach says it is taking this matter seriously and that it is investigating. The lecturer told NBC4 that he is truly sorry and that he will take the question off the exam in the future.
“Wasn’t meant to be racist in the least,” he told the newspaper. “I’m sorry they were so offended by it.”
Cal State Long Beach is launching an investigation into the matter.
“The college takes situations like this very seriously as we are deeply committed to creating learning environments in which all students thrive and succeed,” Monica Lounsbery, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, told the Press-Telegram. “Once we have completed the investigation, we will evaluate all of the information and determine an appropriate course of action.”
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