Utah middle school teacher Kim Cutler unwittingly initiated a heated debate when she encouraged her students to save the world by halting their consumption of beef. Her reasoning was based on the well-established fact that cows contribute to climate change due to the large amounts of manure they produce.
Cutler, a teacher at Spring Canyon Middle School, assigned her students a paper on the potential benefits of eating insects instead of beef. She even offered extra credit to those who replaced their hamburgers or meatball pasta dinners with insect-based meals.
Although Cutler’s intentions were to inspire her students to make a positive impact on the environment, her efforts have since been met with criticism. The assignment, titled “Why America Should Be Eating Bugs,” focused solely on the American population’s consumption habits. This narrow perspective has drawn attention to the potential bias in her teaching approach.
Cutler’s main argument was that the copious amounts of methane produced by cow manure contribute to the erosion of the ozone layer and the degradation of our planet’s atmosphere. She suggested that, unless we reduce our reliance on cattle, our planet may become uninhabitable within a few decades.
Saige Wright, one of Cutler’s students, defied her teacher’s stance on this issue. Wright recorded a conversation in which she questioned Cutler’s beef-hating agenda. Wright’s mother, Amanda, subsequently brought the matter to Fox News Digital, discussing the assignment that suggested Utah students eat bugs for extra credit.
Amanda Wright accused Cutler of indoctrination, claiming the teacher believed there was only one solution to combat climate change—replacing beef with insects. Saige challenged Cutler’s viewpoint, asking why the students couldn’t express their opinions on why Americans shouldn’t eat bugs. Cutler responded that there was no evidence to support the contrary position, insisting that eating insects was necessary to balance our diets and reduce land use for cattle farming, which harms the ozone layer.
The school district defended Cutler’s assignment, stating that it was part of a series of essays aimed at helping students explore various aspects of contentious issues. A representative for the school district told the Daily Mail that the assignment was in line with the Utah State Standards, which required students to “explore the differences between opinions and facts” and develop their persuasive writing skills.
The school district wrote: “It is our understanding that this assignment is part of many essays where students will explore different sides of issues, find and sort through the evidence, and cite it in their own essays, which is a significant part of the writing core in the Utah State Standards,” a representative for the school district told the Daily Mail. “Students explore the differences between opinions and facts while they both read examples of and write their own persuasive/argumentative essays — such as ‘Why America Should Be Eating Bugs.’”
However, the situation raises important questions about the role of educators in shaping young minds. Should teachers be presenting their personal views as the only acceptable solution to complex problems like climate change? It’s crucial for educators to encourage open debate, critical thinking, and diverse perspectives, rather than imposing their beliefs on impressionable students.