Teacher shows 10-year-old students anti-abortion video in class leaving parents outraged
The video was a 2018 live performance depicting seven teenagers who look like high school students, interpreting the voice and thoughts of a fetus which is about to be aborted.
A teacher, Ju Ling Wei, from a Manhattan public school has sparked outrage among parents after she decided it would be a good idea to show her fifth-grade dance students an anti-abortion video in her classroom.
Wei teaches at Public School 184, which is also known as Shuang Wen School, where she showed her 10-year-old students the questionable video around two weeks ago. Wei, who has been a teacher for the last 21 years, showed them a video of a 2018 live performance depicting seven teenagers who look like high school students, interpreting the voice and thoughts of a fetus which is being aborted.
The live performance reading which is titled 'Life Flight' features lines and sayings which include, "Hi Mommy! I have a heartbeat, I'm alive!", "What's an abortion?", and "It burns! Mommy, don't you want me?" When the students returned home and asked their parents questions on abortion and the video, the families were absolutely outraged. The families demanded an explanation from administrators and also some disciplinary action against Wei.
Liset Reyes, who is the mother of 10-year-old student Shiloh Lee Morales, spoke to New York Daily News and said, "I was really, really upset and angry and appalled. I was crying. We don’t even discuss the birds and the bees." 11-year-old student Isabella Alvarado quoted some parts of the performance- "It burns, mommy! It burns" to the shock of her father Ishmael Alvarado. Ishmael shared, "She said to me, "What's abortion." My kids still believe in Santa Claus. They're still innocent."
The student also revealed that seeing the clip was the first time that she had ever heard about abortion. Isabella also said that after watching the video Wei asked the class, "What do you think abortion is?" and then went on to explain how a doctor gives a mother a "shot to kill the baby." Ishmael added, "I believe in the separation of church and state. I’m trying to figure out what was the agenda of the teacher putting this out there in a non-sex ed class."
Two days after the video was played, the school's principal Iris Shiu sent the parents a letter which said that the abortion video viewing would be investigated and looked at. Shiu wrote, "We are writing to let you know that it has been reported that an unsuitable video was shown to a class in the past two days. We apologize for any confusion that may have caused you or your children."
However, not all parents and families are convinced that Wei will be facing appropriate action. New York City Education Department Spokesman Doug Cohen shared, "We expect our teachers to practice good judgment, and there is absolutely no reason to show this video in an elementary school. This lesson was completely inappropriate, and the principal immediately addressed this incident and reported it for investigation." This is not the school's first scandal and its founding principal Ling Ling Chou was ousted in 2011 after the school was investigated for its fundraising and enrollment practices.