Texas mom battles school over role-playing game asking students to pose as ‘seducing hookers’

A Texas mother has fought a public charter school for nearly six months over a teacher outrageously having students engage in a role-playing game that had them pose as “seducing hookers” during a Social Emotional Learning class.

Laura María Gruber, originally from Puerto Rico and self-described as a “woke committed liberal,” recounted the incident from Sept 2, 2022, when a teacher from KIPP Poder Academy had seventh-grade students play the adult drinking game Bear-Hunter-Hooker, which is allegedly similar to Rock, Paper, Scissors according to Fox News.

The students were asked to strike a pose in front of the class as a hunter pointing an imaginary gun, as a bear with its paws up, and as a “seducing hooker” with one hand on their hip and another behind their ear.

In the scenario, when the “seducing hooker” and hunter are in play, the hooker seduces the hunter to win him over. Students were allegedly ranked from least to most mature. In one of the classes, students were reportedly offered candy to participate.

The formerly “woke” mother was outraged by the game. She contended that prostitution and sexualized violence were normalized to the students during this “team-building activity.” She was also alarmed over the imaginary gun pointed at another student three months after the Uvalde mass shooting.

“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 ‘a-ha’ moment as to who’s really doing the work needed to stop the sexualization of kids,” Gruber told Fox News.

After Gruber filed a grievance, the school admitted the game took place. Despite that fact, the School Principal Stephanie Lee, Deputy Superintendent Jeremy Gray, Regional Superintendent Allen Smith, and KIPP: Texas CEO Sehba Ali denied the game sexualized children.

A KIPP administrator responds to Laura María Gruber’s grievance. (Laura María Gruber via Fox News)

The incensed mother pointed out to the school that the game violated its handbook rule on harassment and discrimination.

She also claims the school lied to her, claiming that parents were notified about the game. Gruber recounted that a letter was sent to parents advising them that counseling was available, but gave no specific details of what happened.

Parents were in the dark and reportedly had no idea the exercise had occurred for five-and-a-half months after it took place.

Gruber spoke with the school board on January 18 and told them about the incident. They were reportedly disturbed but decided to give the school an additional month to “get their story straight” and “give a more appropriate response.”

“The board approved a motion to hire a child abuse nonprofit to come in and teach kids and address their trauma on February 6,” Fox News reported. “They also solidified reforms to the board as well as the grievance process. The teacher in question was not fired but the school said she would be retrained.”

Lee admitted in a February 16 letter to parents that the incident occurred and did not meet the academy’s “bar of excellence.”

“This game was not part of any KIPP curriculum, and it was not appropriate for students. Any activities with actions or words like ‘hooker’ or ‘seduce’ should never have a place in our schools. While the intent was never to sexualize a child, I recognize that the impact may have caused students to feel uncomfortable or traumatized. That does not honor the respect we aim to teach our students at all times; in truth, it is degrading,” Lee claimed.

The principal contended that the teacher “deeply regretted” playing the game and that the school had scheduled an additional full-staff training for all teachers on appropriate and inappropriate behaviors with students.

“I apologize for not communicating sooner; after working with a concerned parent, we acknowledge that we should have shared the incident with you right away, address how we were handling this matter, and make resources available to parents for talking with their children – we promise to be more transparent in the future,” she vowed.

According to Fox News, “KIPP is widely regarded as the face of progressive education in the United States and is known for providing equitable education to black, Latino and LGBTQIA children.”

“This system, whose claim to fame is offering disadvantaged and at-risk black and Latino kids equity in education is especially predatory and this game belongs to all of us no matter what point of the moral or political spectrum that we live on,” Gruber railed.

“I think it’s important that my Latino community see a Latina have an a-ha moment about wokeness and what it’s really doing to us—and that conservatives are genuinely the ones doing the work, and that our faith is inextricable from our language and parenting and that we have more in common with political conservatives that we do with woke movements trying to dilute our culture,” she commented.

KIPP Texas Public Schools Board of Directors Chair Gene Austin apologized once again in a March 6 letter.

“After consideration of the arguments and the record, the Board acted to accept the remedies as presented by the Administration at the February 27, 2023 meeting; however, due to the Board’s finding that there was not a reasonable justification for the delay in the process, the Board requested that the Administration present to the Board, at the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting, a full review of its statewide incident response process,” Austin stated.

Gruber also went to the Texas Education Agency which closed its investigation into the matter because they are “focusing more on inappropriate teacher-student relationships.”

The Texas Attorney General allegedly declined the case and the US Department of Education dismissed it after an interview with Gruber. No reason was allegedly given for the dismissal.

Gruber put her daughter in the charter school to help her catch up on schoolwork after being severely ill. After four weeks, she pulled her daughter from the charter school.

“I think they’re the ground zero for grooming,” the distraught mother said. “They just have zero boundaries.”

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