NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Manhattan teacher is facing backlash over their decision to show a video discussing abortion to a fifth-grade class.
That decision has now created a classroom controversy among parents who say school is no place to preach political beliefs.
“Guess what mom, my heart started beating. I’m alive,” the clip states.
It’s not the type of video you’d expect to see in a fifth-grade dance class. The clip featured a group of high school performers pretending to be unborn fetuses.
“It burns mom, it burns, it’s hurting me. Make it stop. Mommy don’t you want me?” the performers said.
The nearly five-minute controversial YouTube clip, entitled “2018 National Fine Arts Merit Winner – Readers Theater – Life Flight,” was reportedly screened in front of an entire class here at P.S. 184 on the Lower East Side.
“I think it’s totally inappropriate these are young children,” parent Milly Velez said.
“I feel that should be taught at home,” Chrysti Ramirez added. “I want to be the one to explain the birds and the bees to her.”
CBS2’s Marc Liverman tried to speak with the principal of P.S. 184, which is also known as the Shuang Wen School, to find out why the video was played during class. The conversation did not get very far.
“Sorry we’re not allowed to release any information to the news,” a school official told Liverman.
CBS2 reached out to the Department of Education which said that that arts teacher was using the video to demonstrate stage presence and performance, but acknowledged this wasn’t the appropriate way to do that.
So far, the unidentified teacher responsible is still working at the school pending the outcome of an investigation.
“I’m surprised that she did that though,” sixth-grader Shania Buynam said.
The DOE said the teacher has been with the school since 2004 and has no prior disciplinary history.
This isn’t the first controversy to take place at the Shuang Wen School. Back in 2011, a principal was removed from the school over some controversial financial and enrollment practices.