OpenDemocracy.net presents this as a question that has recently been asked of 12-year-old children in a US school:

Question on chinese norms: Which one of these Chinese NORMS is TRUE? A. It is normal in China to cut off someone's lips if they burp in a restaurant. B. It is normal in parts of China to give children fifty lashes by a cane if they steal a piece of candy. C. It is normal in parts of China to eat cats and dogs.

It is described so:


A worried Korean American woman recently posted a screenshot of a classroom test her 12 year old sister had sat in school. Multiple choice Q3, reproduced in the image above, offers 3 answers to the question: Which one of these Chinese NORMS is TRUE?

Was this question really presented to American school children in recent years?

  • 16
    Your opinions about the definition of norms and racism are off-topic here. Multiple comments deleted.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 1:07
  • 4
    Locked comments for 24 hrs because we don''t care for your opinions on racism, the definition of norms, or the appropriateness of the test question.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 0:16

1 Answer 1


This question was brought to the media's attention by this tweet from the test-taker's sister:

my sister’s 6th grade social studies class took a quiz today and......... this is ridiculous.. harmful rhetoric in our education system is exactly why anti-asian hate crimes and racism persist today @CFBISD @BlalackMS do better

The school district tweeted within a day, that they had placed the the three teachers involved on administrative leave until their investigation is complete.

The full Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD statement reads:

Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD values our diverse community of learners and staff. Actions or language disrespecting any people group are not acceptable and do not represent our core belief system.

Recently we learned of a situation where three teachers used inappropriate language about Asian Americans on a secondary social studies test. The words used on the test question were derogatory and hurtful. The teachers have been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

CFBISD recently launched a diversity training initiative for staff. The district will enhance these training opportunities in an effort to create a more inclusive and respectful environment.

Further reporting

  • 2
    Interesting. I assume we'll get more conclusive answer once their investigation is complete? I think it's unlikely however that they'll use Twitter to break the news.
    – tuskiomi
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 6:44
  • 25
    @tuskiomi The answer is complete already. If the question wouldn't be real, they wouldn't have identified involved teachers. What kind of result are you expecting from the investigation?
    – Chris
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 9:07
  • 3
    @Chris The fact that the school district needs to investigate suggests that there's more to this, although it may not be related to the factual issue of whether the question was on the test.
    – Barmar
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 14:49
  • 2
    @Giacomo1968 That makes sense. I was thinking of it in the sense of "criminal investigation", but it's more political.
    – Barmar
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 22:29
  • 9
    My interpretation of the press release is that it acknowledges the "derogatory and hurtful" test question was actually asked, and that isn't in dispute. I believe the investigation probably covers who is responsible, whether it violates the official standards, and what action should be taken. A cynical view would be that it also delays the need to describe the actions taken, to wait out the news cycle and avoid global scrutiny, but that is cynicism, not skepticism.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 3:21

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