LONG BEACH, Calif. -- A question about graffiti, gangs and race appeared on an exam for a health science class at Cal State Long Beach.
Students are puzzled and administrators are now investigating the part-time lecturer who teaches the class.
One student, Alex Rambo, called the question racist and posted it on Twitter.
The question reads: "Which of the following gangs generally do the least graffiti? Black, Asian, Hispanic, or White?
Students were surprised.
"It plays on stereotypes that they say they are trying to crash down on, junior Juliette Nguyen said.
The class instructor is Matt E. Fischer. He did not respond requests for comment.
According to his LinkedIn Page he has taught health science for the Los Angeles Unified School District for more than 25 years.
Rambo was not available to elaborate on his tweet, saying that he was immersed in final exams. He authorized his mother, Angela Reid, to describe his concerns about the take-home exam and the professor.
"(It was) kind of the awkward things happening in the class and he showed me the exam and asked me to read that one question and I did. And after I read, it my question was 'What does that have to do with health science?'" she said.
"The campus takes these allegations seriously. We will provide additional information when we have reached a resolution," CSULB spokesperson Jeff Bliss said in a statement.
The controversial question appeared on the exam between other questions regarding treatment for a sexually transmitted disease and antibiotics.
According to Reid, the professor later emailed the class bewildered by the reaction.
Until something is done, students are left to wonder why it was on the exam.
"I did not take the class, but not sure I am comfortable answering that type of question," senior Evan McCormack said.