YARMOUTH, Mass. – Parents are sounding off about a biology app on school-issued iPads that features an objectionable song about the vagina and other inappropriate materials.
Parents of students in the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District attended an Oct. 19 school committee meeting to vent their frustrations with the app Bio Ninja IB, which was installed on iPads issued to students, Wicked Local Yarmouth reports.
The app is designed to help students remember facts about biology, but songs like “Hey The Vagina” – a parody cover of “Hey Macarena” – and accompanying videos cross the line, parents said.
“I would like to know at some point how that was put there,” Susan Colgan, mother of a sixth-grader in the district, told committee members. “That one particular app is completely unacceptable. You can’t unsee or unhear some of those things.”
Colgan and other parents contend most of the songs and other materials on Bio Ninja IB, such as a Kama Sutra chart, have no business in a school setting. Superintendent Carol Woodbury agreed “just a couple of songs” on the app were uncalled for.
“It was a very unsettling thing for all of us,” she said. “The app proved to have some inappropriate content for this age group.”
The superintendent said the app was purchased from the Apple Store because of its 4-plus rating, indicating there is no objectionable material, according to the news site.
She said school officials purchased the app from the site’s education category last spring, and didn’t notice the questionable content.
“When you dig deeply into it, you find a couple of songs that are extremely objectionable,” Woodbury said.
“She added that new controls will be put in place to monitor more closely the content of students’ iPads, with particular attention paid to apps for subjects such as biology, or anatomy and physiology,” according to the news site.
The app, which was created to help students with the International Baccalaureate biology test, is used in several other schools, as well, including Mrs. Downey’s preliminary biology class at Wadalba Community School in New South Wales, Australia.
“Hi guys if you get the chance please download the app ‘bio ninja’ it’s free and it has great revision strategies for bio concepts, I highly recommend the song for enzyme inhibitors,” Downey posted to the Mrs Downey’s biology Funtime Facebook page.
Other customer reviews posted online, however, were mixed.
“I still failed,” spud1212 posted.
“Did not like,” wrote another.
“This app uses succinct and understandable language and illustration to explain the whole curriculum,” The Notorious Z.A.N. wrote. “So happy I found it. If you want to get a good mark on the IB exam, use this!”