A mother removed her child from a Texas middle school after the teacher had some students portray “seductive hookers” as part of a game.
Laura Maria Gruber says her daughter told her about the incident the day it happened at KIPP Poder Academy, a public middle school in San Antonio.
As part of an apparent “team building” exercise in her Social Emotional Learning class, her daughter explained that the teacher facilitated a game called “bear-hooker-hunter,” an adult drinking-game based on “rock-paper-scissors.”
Students were expected to go to the front of the class and pose as a hunter with an imaginary gun, a bear with its paws up, or a “seductive hooker” with one hand on their hip and the other behind their ear. While Gruber’s daughter declined to play the game, the teacher reportedly bribed other students with candy to get them to play along.
“When she told me about kids getting up in class and posing as hookers, I almost crashed the car,” Gruber told the New York Post.
“My daughter was so grossed out and embarrassed,” Gruber said. “She said the boys and the teacher were laughing. Another little girl in the class had been sexually assaulted, so the experience was especially cringe for her.”
Gruber felt that the game sexualized children, and she decided to remove her daughter from the school one week later. She also filed a formal complaint almost immediately.
Although the game took place last September, it took until February for the school to notify parents of Gruber’s complaint, acknowledging in a statement that parents should have been notified right away.
“Sometimes we stumble… Any activities with actions or words like ‘hooker’ or ‘seduce’ should never have a place in our schools,” Principle Stephanie Lee wrote to parents. “While the intent was never to sexualize a child, I recognize that the impact may have caused students to feel uncomfortable or traumatized.”
The school board finally issued an apology on Mar. 6 to Gruber, who says it’s not enough.
Gruber, who described herself to the Post as a “woke” mom favoring progressive causes, was nevertheless surprised and disappointed by the sexualization of children she observed in the school.
“I was a woke committed liberal until this game and school came into my life… seeing how KIPP exploited Latino children, and then how all the progressive politicians and organizations I sought support from didn’t give this issue a time of day … that really gave me an aha moment as to who’s really doing the work needed to stop the sexualization of kids,” Gruber said in an interview with Fox News.
The school says that the teacher has been reprimanded and will be “retrained.”