Teacher removed over ‘inappropriate’ nuclear fallout shelter assignment

The middle school teacher who gave the assignment has been pulled from the classroom as the investigation continues. (NEWS 12 LONG ISLAND, VIEWER HANDOUT, CNN)
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 4:08 AM CDT
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PLAINVIEW, N.Y. (News 12) - A New York middle school teacher has been pulled from the classroom over an assignment that the district and parents are calling deeply inappropriate.

Officials with Howard B. Mattlin Middle School in Plainview say health teacher Mandy Bieder handed out a questionnaire Monday to 5th graders. It asked them to select six people to be in a fallout shelter with them in the event of a nuclear attack.

The students were given 10 choices, including a police officer with multiple charges of brutality pending against him, a 38-year-old retired prostitute and a 31-year-old homosexual architect.

The assignment sparked outrage among parents.

“It’s inappropriate. There’s no need to ask children who they would let die in a situation,” Plainview resident Mike Salmon said.

“I’m shocked that the teacher could be so stupid,” another resident said.

School officials say Bieder has been removed from the classroom, calling the assignment “deeply inappropriate.” The school principal added in a statement, “This assignment… has no place in our classrooms.”

A substitute teacher will teach Bieder’s health class as the school district investigates the matter.