Three Texas teachers are under investigation after a family member uncovered a racist question on a recent middle school quiz.
Joy Lim is a college student taking classes remotely at home, so when she glanced at her 12-year-old sister’s work and saw the quiz question, she was caught by surprise.
“Which one of these Chinese NORMS is TRUE?” a photo Lim tweeted of the question read. Answer options conveyed racial stereotypes of Chinese culture, including a reference to eating cats and dogs.
When followers questioned the validity of what Lim was sharing, she also shared a video on Twitter.
“I was shocked and horrified — I was like, 'Who made this quiz?'” Joy Lim told NBCDFW, NBC’s Dallas-Forth Worth affiliate. “With this example, we see that starting from middle school the students are taught to think different about China, about Asian Americans, people who look different than them."
Lim’s sister is a sixth grader in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District, a public school district in Carrollton, Texas.
“There is no place for this in Texas public schools,” Keven Ellis, chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, tweeted. “I will follow this to determine what action the district takes.”
In a statement shared on March 31, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD said three teachers had been placed on paid administrative leave:
"Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD values our diverse community of learners and staff. Actions or language disrespecting any people (or) group are not acceptable and do not represent our core belief system.
"Recently we learned of a situation where three teachers used inappropriate language about Asian Americans on a secondary social studies test. The words used on the test question were derogatory and hurtful. The teachers have been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.
"CFBISD recently launched a diversity training initiative for staff. The district will enhance these training opportunities in an effort to create a more inclusive and respectful environment."
A follow-up video message from CFBISD Superintendent John E. Chapman III was shared across the district's social media platforms.
"Recently three employees used an inaccurate depiction about Asian Americans on a middle school social studies test," he said. "Please know we will not tolerate any actions or languages disrespecting Asian Americans or any other person or group. Any defamatory language does not represent the core beliefs of CFBISD. We are here to serve all students no matter their race, background or beliefs."
John Jun, vice president of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Korean American Coalition, told NBCDFW that what he finds most concerning is that the language used on the quiz was approved by administrators.
"One of the options was that Chinese eat cats and dogs. What are you trying to teach there?" Jun said. "The fact of the matter is when you instill that idea to middle school kids, that kind of creates divisiveness instead of trying to have an inclusive idea of welcoming everyone to this country."
Both Lim and Jun said everyone needs to do more to stop the wave of violence targeting Asian Americans.
“I think it is people’s duty if they see wrong happening to speak out,” Lim said.