Monroe teacher placed on leave for 'Miss Iraq pagent' assignment

- Monroe County Schools has placed a teacher on administrative leave while they investigate a controversial assignment believed to have been handed out by the teacher.

A Facebook post alleges the high school statistics teacher's homework instructed students to construct a scatterplot of how they rank the jokes on a David Letterman Top 10 List vs. how the host ranked them himself.

The topic of the list, though, is what has many people their raising eyebrows.

The list is the "Top Ten Talents of Contestants in the Miss Iraq Pageant," and includes "talents" such as withstanding the kick of a donkey; getting plastic explosives through airport security; making poison gas out of common household cleansers; and denouncing pork, to name a few.

A disclaimer, of sorts, on the top of the the teacher's alleged assignment states the list was taken from Letterman's "An Altogether New Book of Top Ten Lists." This preview of the book on shows the list in a rearranged form. 

This YouTube video shows Letterman reading the list on his show, and claims the episode aired in September of 1990.

Monroe Public Schools' superintendent, Barry N. Martin, released this statement to FOX 2:

"When we learned about this, the teacher was placed on administrative leave while the situation is being investigated. The district encourages understanding and respect of all backgrounds and cultures in the classroom and views anything that dissuades students from this path as a problem that  needs to be dealt with quickly and effectively," Martin said.

Monroe Public Schools has not named the teacher.

The questionable assignment comes as many people in America of Middle Eastern descent are feeling uneasy with Donald Trump being elected President after he called for a ban of Muslims entering the country during his campaign. Trump has since backed off the all-inclusive ban as he prepares to take the Oval Office in January.

This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 2 for updates. 

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