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Principal Defends Teacher, Made 'Honest Mistake'
Covington, OH -- The Covington School Board meeting on September 21 was met with unanimous support for the removal of a controversial English assignment involving a contract with the Devil.
Sophomore English Students at Covington High School had been required by their teacher, Karen Brackman, to write and sign a contract with the Devil. The required work, the "Devil's Contracts," included stating what the students wanted from the demonic character and what three things that they were willing to give up in return. Concerned parents and Covington residents objected to this education method in which students wrote contracts with the Devil, Satan, Lucifer, a genie, a witch or warlock.
Parents Dan and Peggy Lantz discovered their daughter Cathy Jo's contract with Lucifer after it had been graded and returned. The parents proceeded to the school to confront the principal and teacher. The teacher stated she realized the assignment might be sensitive to some of her students and that is why she offered them the option of choosing to whom to address the contract. The parents reminded her that all her choices were demonic in nature.
The principal defended the teacher, maintaining it was an "honest mistake." When asked how he would have handled an assignment where the work was to be addressed to God, Christ, Jesus, Lord, Savior, or Holy Spirit, he immediately stated that "we could not do that because of the separation of Church and State." He told the parents they should just "move on."
The Covington School Board took a different approach and unanimously removed the assignment. The Board responded to the controversy by issuing the following statement:
"Covington school officials, in conjunction with the high school teacher Karen Brackman, regret the controversy and misunderstanding over a recent writing assignment in Mrs. Brackman's 10th grade English class. The community of Covington has always been proud and supportive of their schools and it behooves us to apologize for this controversy and we want to assure the community that the context in which the lesson was taught will not be repeated."