Bizarre H.S. Biology Lesson Teaches Promiscuity, Fails at Blood-Typing

Click above for video on the story that includes an epic Maury Povich reference made all the more fascinating by his failure to conceive a child with his wife Connie Chung.

I'm sorry to say that we didn't have this sort of question at good ol' Mater Dei High School in New Monmouth, New Jersey. But then again, I was no good at science anyway, so I probably wouldn't have gotten the right answer.

Audri Basaj, a freshman at Romeo High School, just wanted to get her bio homework on DNA done when she got to a question that stumped her.

It reads: "The sister of the mom above also had issues with finding out who the father of her baby was. She had the state take a blood test of potential fathers. Based on the information in this table, why was the baby taken away by the state after the test?"

As if that question isn't tacky enough, look at the list of possible fathers: Bartender, Guy at the club, Cabdriver and Flight attendant.

Upon seeing the assignment, Basaj's parents understandably flipped out and apparently sent the paper back to school with a note reading, "We teach our children not to sleep around.”

Superintendent Nancy Campbell said the question came from a three-page assignment about blood types. It came from a website -- teachingbioformatics.com -- which the teacher has used for getting problems that have the components using the concepts the children can understand.

Campbell said the question will be revised.

Wotta relief!

And while they're revising the question, school officials might want to check the credibility of the source. According to this calclulator, there's simply no way that a Type O mother is going to give birth to a Type AB kid. So breathe easy, Bartender, Guy at the club, Cabdriver, and Flight attendant. But for god's sake, get a VD test already. And somebody find out the blood type of Kid Rock, Romeo High's best-known alum.

Update: I checked out the website that supposedly provided the question. It actually just links to a wide range of sites selling everything from urinary catheters to personalized t-shirts to online curricula. But exactly how anybody got a question - even a patently wrong problem - is beyond me. According to the most recent Romeo Community Schools Annual Report (get it here) fully 81 percent of the district's teachers have master's degrees and 100 percent are rated "highly qualified for required content."

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  • ||

    As if that question isn't tacky enough, look at the list of possible fathers: Bartender, Guy at the club, Cabdriver and Flight attendant.

    So Epi, did you ever find out which one was your father?

  • ||

    They all are. Haven't you seen Twins?

  • ||

    No, but I've seen Chinatown.

    I figured that scene explained your origins.

  • ||

    You should probably watch Twins. Not only is it a fun movie, it explains everything.

  • ||

    Weird, I remember seeing 'Junior' but I don't think I've ever seen 'Twins'.

    And Wikipedia says they're planning on making a sequel called 'Triplets' with Schwarzenegger, DeVito, and Eddie Murphy as the triplet.

  • ||

    Twins is the first DeVito/Arnold pairing movie, and it was the really good one. Junior, which sucked, got made because of the success of Twins.

    Any sequel will almost assuredly be a nightmare.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Aliens would like to have a talk with you...

  • Lucky Jack||

    Ahem. Terminator 2?

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'm wondering why Mother's H.S. Teacher wasn't one of the options?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Why is *Reason* promoting this KULTUR WAR! stuff? Are they *trying* to support the right-wing fundamentalist propaganda about inappropriate sexuality instruction in school?

    And I wonder if the sex-ed class uses science-based questions the way the science class uses sex-based questions?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    And I wonder if the sex-ed class uses science-based questions the way the science class uses sex-based questions?

    Are you implying that there is way to teach the heritability of blood type without referencing sexual reproduction?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I'm not 100% confident in the scientific quality of the sex ed classes. But I don't know for sure, since they've so far denied my requests to sit in on some of these classes.

  • RBS||

    All I remember from SexEd is my hot teacher twirling a tampon by the string while she talked.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You got a hot teacher? We got the old man football coach/gym teacher.

  • RBS||

    I just looked her up on facebook. My memory may not be entirely correct.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The absolute flood of hormones in the teenage brain tends to do that to perception of reality.

  • Brandybuck||

    My aunt was the school secretary. I was once mysteriously called to the office when the sex ed instructor got to the point where we were supposed to learn how to put a condom on a banana. To this day I still don't know how to put a condom on a banana. Do you peel the banana first? Does it go on the stem end?

  • Tonio||

    Have you been able to get syllabi and course materials, Eddie?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    My kid's teacher denied my request to sit on her, too. Or for her to sit on me, for that matter.

  • WTF||

    Of course they can't even get the fucking science right. I guess this is even more reason we should spend even more money on public schools.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "For correct answers, you'll have to appropriate more money. Right now, our teachers just aren't incentivized to get the answers right."

  • WTF||

    The teachers are utmost professionals and should be paid even more. That's why they didn't even notice such a basic error regarding blood types.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    You notice how everybody's name involved is in the report except the teachers?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    ack...the name of everybody involved

  • ||

    Lana: What's your blood type?

    Archer: How would I know?

    Lana: How can you not?

    Archer: Who am I, Karl Landsteiner?

    [pause]

    Archer: Discoverer of blood groups.

    Lana: You don't know your own blood group but you know who discovered them?

  • ||

    You just know the writers of that show are having a blast.

  • ||

    I guess this is even more reason we should spend even more money on public schools.

    Schools need to ditch the rules preventing them from paying teachers differently based on subject.

  • WTF||

    Schools need to ditch the rules preventing them from paying teachers differently based on subject.

    As well as grade level and ability.

  • MJGreen||

    Is that the reason they took the baby away? Because the mother stole it?

    It really is a difficult question, and exactly why I hate it when direct questions are wrapped up in this kind of language. I was always great at math, but I hated all of the sloppily worded questions.

  • croaker||

    Of course she stole it. Hospital personnel NEVER accidentally switch infants, because they're professionals. /sarcasm

  • David Friedman||

    On the contrary, they did get the science wrong. The "mother" could not be the mother of that baby, which is why the baby was taken away from her.

  • David Friedman||

    Oops, typo. "they did not get the science wrong."

  • Jose Chung||

    The problem is asking why the child was taken away after the test. The answer is fairly obvious: the child isn't hers to begin with according to the blood tests.

  • mb||

    The mother could not have had the child, that is why the good and protective state took her from her home and placed the baby in a loving foster home. The question is correct.

  • silent v||

    So the mother stole a baby and then asked the state to test the baby's genetics? Forget the blood type, find out which chromosomes the mother is missing.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Yeah, it made sense to me... dude...

  • SomeGuy||

    yes i dont know how everyone missed that question -_-

  • Edgehopper||

    "According to this calclulator, there's simply no way that a Type O mother is going to give birth to a Type AB kid."

    True! So...isn't that the answer? The state took the baby away because it wasn't that woman's child?

    Well, the right answer is, "Because the state doesn't bother with due process or burden of proof before removing children like the jack-booted thugs they are," but this was a biology class, not an American government class.

  • ||

    The answer is Jesus.

    Jesus can put an AB child in an O woman.

  • ||

    Warty is also correct. He has put everything in an O woman.

  • Tonio||

    Good one, Josh.

  • ||

    Based on the information in this table, why was the baby taken away by the state after the test?"

    Maybe it was a trick question: because the mother could not have given birth to a type AB baby she must have kidnapped it or the hospital screwed up.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    +1 Solomonic dilemma

  • ||

    According to this calclulator, there's simply no way that a Type O mother is going to give birth to a Type AB kid. So breathe easy, Bartender, Guy at the club, Cabdriver, and Flight attendant. But for god's sake, get a VD test already.

    The question asks "why was the baby taken away by the state?"

  • 110 Lean||

    Bizarre H.S. Biology Lesson Teaches Promiscuity, Fails at Blood-Typing

    Does it mention subwoofers?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Looks like "Gay at the club" on the image, which would have made this question a LOT more fun for the kiddies.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Wait - wouldn't they do a DNA test?

  • Craig K||

    "According to this calclulator, there's simply no way that a Type O mother is going to give birth to a Type AB kid." - Nick

    I was wondering why part of the question was, "why was the baby taken away by the state after the test?" Not one story I read addressed that.

    Nick, you've given me the answer. The baby was kidnapped! They took the baby because there was no way the mother could have given birth to a baby with that blood type.

    P.S. You spelled calculator wrong. One 'l' too many.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    P.S. You spelled calculator wrong. One 'l' too many.

    He already explained he wasn't good at science

  • Craig K||

    HA!

  • Mickey Rat||

    While it is science, it is also simple logic.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Which Gillespie apparently is also not good at.

  • Craig K||

    Looks like everyone else is coming to the same conclusion at about the same time. :)

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    They'll replace this with a math problem involving Jamal and Teyshaun selling kilograms of cocaine at $100 an once. Less offensive.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Or $100 a kilogram. Whatevs.

  • WTF||

    $100 a kilo? That's some cheap-ass coke.

  • Hyperion||

    It's the super econo grade. 2.19999 lbs. baking soda and 3 emptied capsules of sinus pills.

  • Roger the Shrubber||

    F the metric system.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I measure things in paces. All properties can be measured in paces.

  • Paul.||

    "The sister of the mom above also had issues with finding out who the father of her baby was. She had the state take a blood test of potential fathers. Based on the information in this table, why was the baby taken away by the state after the test?"

    As if that question isn't tacky enough, look at the list of possible fathers: Bartender, Guy at the club, Cabdriver and Flight attendant.

    Of course, the real reason Mom wants to know who the father is... hell... CARES who the father is-- is mamma be lookin' for a payday.

  • croaker||

    No, the state is looking to hook up some poor bastard for 23 years of child support. Because Section IV-D, yo.

  • KDN||

    good ol' Mater Dei High School in New Monmouth, New Jersey

    Notable alumni
    - Mary Kay Adams (born 1962, class of 1979), television actress.
    - Nick Gillespie (born 1963, class of 1981), editor in chief of Reason magazine's online video website, Reason.tv.
    - Brian Williams (born 1959, class of 77), anchor and managing editor for NBC Nightly News.

    I will now assume three things based upon this link:
    A) The jacket totally hooked up with a Klingon in high school; and an older woman no less.
    B) He totally added himself just before posting this story.
    C) He's spent 3/4 of his life attempting and failing to catch up to hometown hero Brian Williams.

  • ||

    Maybe he could nail Allison Williams, who is Brian's daughter and also the only attractive chick on Girls.

  • ||

    I ended up watching Sunday's episode of 'Girls'. Is it always like that where they have a falling out at the end of the episode and let each other know how horrible they are?

    And of course Dunham had to wear a skimpy bikini for almost the entire episode.

  • ||

    It depends; each episode usually has at least a few characters being informed how horrible they are. Because they are.

    I haven't watched Sunday's episode yet (nor have I watched this week's True Detective either) because I'm forcing myself to clean hours of various stuff off my TiVo that has been there for months. I don't get to watch anything new until I take care of the old stuff.

  • SugarFree||

    The bikini was rough, yo. Writer's should be heard and not seen.

  • SugarFree||

    And use apostrophes correctly, yo.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Don't know who the daddy is but we're all the sugar daddys. Except for the sugar part.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    even a patently wrong problem

    Where are you getting that it is wrong? Unless there's something in the video, which I can't watch at this moment, isn't the solution that the state took the kid because its obvious that she stole it? Just because you can't figure out the trick in a trick question doesn't make it "patently wrong".

  • MJGreen||

    But then why did she go to the state for a paternity test?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Connecticut

  • Hyperion||

    So, the Russian hockey team has been eliminated. I'm surprised that comrade Putin didn't rip off his shirt and get onto the ice to save them, single handedly. Maybe he was too busy killing polar bears with his bare hands.

  • Ska||

    What would Vladimir Putin do if he were here right now? I'm sure he'd kick an ass or two, that's what Vladimir Putin'd do.

    When Russia was in the Olympics fighting for their hockey lives,
    Putin put up two hat tricks while fighting bears with knives.

  • Rhywun||

    They're not even a real country anyway.

  • Almanian!||

    So they've been kind of Putin us on, eh?

    *laughs hysterically*

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    GODDAMN YOU! Now I have that song stuck in my head!

  • Ska||

    Would you have rather seen a parody of I'm Super?

  • croaker||

    Siberia will have some new residents in a week or so...

  • GILMORE||

    "Based on the information in this table, why was the baby taken away by the state after the test?""

    uh, because she was not an only-child herself, and has not applied to the state for two-child approval, and cannot prove the father is also an only child, and... oh jesus, I don't know anymore! SEND ME BACK TO THE DAMN CAMP ALREADY!!...

    China eases one-child policy, ends re-education through labor camps
    By Madison Park, CNN
    December 28, 2013

    "The changes to the one-child policy, first announced last month, will mean couples will be allowed to have two children if one of the parents was an only child, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. Currently, both parents must be sole children to be eligible for a second child."

  • waffles||

    China is cutting back on education! This is our chance America!

  • RBS||

    Maybe he was too busy killing polar bears with his bare hands.

    Will that be on the NBC Primetime telecast or the special late night edition?

  • Hyperion||

    NBC already has it's hands full kissing our own dictators behind.

  • Loki||

    It reads: "The sister of the mom above also had issues with finding out who the father of her baby was. She had the state take a blood test of potential fathers. Based on the information in this table, why was the baby taken away by the state after the test?"
    ...
    According to this calclulator, there's simply no way that a Type O mother is going to give birth to a Type AB kid.

    Congrats, Nick, you figured out the answer to the question: because the baby obviously wasn't hers.

  • Coeus||

    This article is embarrassing. It looks like something that should be posted on Slate. No critical thought and he didn't even google the website name. Not to mention the weird tagging.

  • GILMORE||

    I passed all my tests by choosing "FYTW" as every answer. I'm gonna be a politician!

  • Hyperion||

    Sorry, but you'll never cut it with that sort of honesty. You have to lie on each question and then say that you weren't wrong, but that you either misspoke or have evolved since.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Mickey Rat||

    "The sister of the mom above also had issues with finding out who the father of her baby was. She had the state take a blood test of potential fathers. Based on the information in this table, why was the baby taken away by the state after the test?"

    Is this the sister's child? If so, we need to know the sister's blood type, which is not on the table. If the supposed mother of the baby is type O, then the state took the kid away because the person claiming to be its biological mother cannot be.

  • GILMORE||

    "Billie Jean, I done told you already.... no, I don't give a fuck what your high school test says..... Did you not hear the fucking song?"

  • ||

    The sister of the mom above also had issues with finding out who the father of her baby was. She had the state take a blood test of potential fathers. Based on the information in this table, why was the baby taken away by the state after the test?

    Rather than the hospital sending her home with the wrong baby, it's much more likely "the state" recorded the mother's and/or baby's blood type incorrectly on its numerous forms. My answer: The baby was taken from the mother due to bureaucratic incompetence.

  • paranoid android||

    Papers, Please - Child Welfare Edition

  • GILMORE||

    All I can think about is how Guy in the Club may never know what it really means to be a father. Poor, poor, guy in the club.

    Still, at least the sister's a freak too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sul16s0VSzs

  • ||

    If Guy in the club is poor, maybe he should get a job like Cabdriver, Bartender, or Flight attendant.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Well, we can eliminate the Flight Attendant right off the bat, as there are no straight male Flight Attendants.

  • GILMORE||

    Also, that baby's gonna have some serious pre-natal alcohol-exposure issues. Freak can't remember whether it was the gangbang @ the club with the bartender and 'that guy', or how she paid for the cab ride home. Damn, girl. Also, you got to stop drinking on the airplanes too. You know what I'm talking about.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com.....63297.post

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Nothing good ever comes from the club.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    You anti-science SoConz are all the same.

  • ||

    I gotta say, I'm more impressed with Kid Rock after reading this story.

  • Agammamon||

    Based on the information in this table, why was the baby taken away by the state after the test?"

    OK, maybe I'm dense here, but *why* would the state have taken the baby away?

  • Agammamon||

    I already know about the FYTW directive in DES' child-snatching playbook.

  • Agammamon||

    Never mind, I see the answer is already posted above.

    If that's the reasoning of the question, I don't really see the point of the kerfluffle surrounding this.

    Its another non-story.

  • Coeus||

    Tagged with "Sexism"? Really? Somebody wanna fill me in on that one?

  • GamerFromJump||

    Maybe it's sexist to imply that "ho-tastic" is the new normal?

  • Beowulf||

    The Jacket really wrote this piece? Normally his writing is insightful but here we have a perfectly legitimate test question and faux outrage on the part of the parents who obviously have too much time on their hands - and this merits sympathetic coverage in Reason?

    If it's true that Nick actually wrote this drivel in the throes of some temporary chemical imbalance, please at least tell me that some cognitively impaired intern wrote the misleading headline?

    We are only two months into 2014, but is there another contender for worst Reason article of the year?

  • Brandybuck||

    It's all about the slut shaming. Social criticism is coercive. Obviously Nick is part of the statist cosmo club.

  • Beowulf||

    but Nick's mantra has always been "Yes, the jacket is stupid, but i'm an insightful enough writer that I can get away with dreadful sartorial choices"

    This article calls one half of that equation into question.

  • jess kazen||

    "And while they're revising the question, school officials might want to check the credibility of the source. According to this calclulator, there's simply no way that a Type O mother is going to give birth to a Type AB kid. So breathe easy, Bartender, Guy at the club, Cabdriver, and Flight attendant. But for god's sake, get a VD test already. And somebody find out the blood type of Kid Rock, Romeo High's best-known alum."

    this is why the child would be taken away, it's not hers....

  • LarryA||

    "We teach our children not to sleep around.”

    Every time this euphamism I get a mental picture of a crying daughter saying, "But Mom, I can't be pregnant. We did lots of stuff, but I never went to sleep!

  • David Friedman||

    The question was "why was the baby taken away by the state after the test?" The answer, obviously, was because, just as you reported, "there's simply no way that a Type O mother is going to give birth to a Type AB kid."

    Hence the baby was not hers, which is why it was taken away.

    The school didn't get the question wrong. You did.

  • Rafjxael Pohss||

    It is actually possible for an O mother to give birth to an AB child in a number of ways. Most common would be an egg donated by another women, e.g., IVF with a donor egg. Another would be if the mother has parts of her body composed from different cell lines, i.e., she is a chimera. This is rare but not *that* rare: you can think of it as conjoined twins where each of the twins has only body parts the other doesn't have. This turned out to be the case with a woman in England whose baby did not genetically match cells taken from her blood. The state tried to take the baby away, and only vociferous objections and investigation by an involved physician who had personally watched her give birth to that particular child saved the day.

    So it is actually a pretty clever question, as it opens avenues for some very interesting classroom discussion: about the biology of the situation including rare events, about the right way to calculate probabilities, and about social policy and what thresholds of certainty the state should have in order to take various actions.

  • Maxwell Smart||

    There is nothing wrong with the science in this exercise.
    An O mother cannot have an AB child (unless she is a chimera, a topic beyond high school biology). Since she could not have the child, the government took the baby from her.
    The "who's the daddy" aspect of this question is completely irrelevant to obtaining the answer.
    If all of these teachers are as qualified as the school website claims, the teacher should have been able to come up with a far less controversial question on her own.

  • Maxwell Smart||

    I'm glad lots of people have pointed out that Nick is still terrible at science.
    Pro tip: Get someone else to write articles involving science, or don't say the science is incorrect when you admittedly have no clue about it.

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