NEW YORK (CBS 2) — It was one assignment students in Queens will not soon forget.
The scandalous schoolwork was loaded with sexually explicit material, and as CBS 2’s John Metaxas found out students were given a book with some very racy reading.
Sixteen-year-old Giavanna Grasso got the shock of her life Monday.
The junior at Robert Goddard High School in Ozone Park was asked to find descriptive language in a passage of literature for her digital arts English class. But to her surprise she found herself reading explicit, sexually oriented and vulgar language that included a crude joke about animals.
“It was saying that hoe the only way the rat will do something for the elephant is if he does sexual favors for him and as I’m reading on there are words like ‘diaphragm,’” Grasso said.
The passage was from “The Rules of Attraction,” a dark novel by Bret Easton Ellis that focuses on three sexually promiscuous college students. But it made Giavanna uncomfortable.
“I told my mom because I didn’t know what else to do. Should I continue to read this? Because I don’t know how much further it was going to get,” Giavanna said.
Her mother, Melissa Naprawa, was outraged.
“The sexual content was very explicit. I felt like I was reading porn,” Naprawa said. “I can’t even fathom that the teacher would use this in a curriculum.”
She immediately called the school, but administrators had left for the day.
“There’s nothing that can be taken away from this except for disgustedness,” Naprawa said.
And according to Giavanna, other students got different passages, some of which were worse.
The Department of Education, responding to Metaxas’ inquiry, issued a statement saying simply: “The book is not part of the curriculum and will no longer be used.”
But at least one mother was still angry.
“That does me no good because children have already been exposed to it,” Naprawa said.
When school opens Tuesday morning officials will have a lot of explaining to do. They’ll be confronted with an irate mother who wants some answers.
The Department of Education said the teacher who assigned the work was a substitute and will not be at school Tuesday.