An exam question has generated a controversy and now an investigation by Cal State University at Long Beach. The Health Sciences take-home test asked students which ethnic gang is least likely to do graffiti.
"I just thought it was pretty offensive," Alex Rambo, the student that posted the question online, said.
"And the choices were 'Black,' 'White,' 'Asian' or 'Hispanic,'" Rambo adds.
The university confirms that the same lecturer has taught the course for five semesters. Although it is a Health Science course, it covers many topics including drugs, sexuality and violence, according to the school.
"I'm not calling him a racist, but I do think that the question was definitely insensitive," Rambo said.
NBC4 reached out to the lecturer on the phone. He says the question had to do with gang violence and youth, which are topics discussed in the course, and in no way did he mean to offend anyone.
Rambo says he's not looking for an apology, but he hopes a lesson is learned.
"I just hope he learns to... think twice, the kind of things he's doing, especially in regards to race and ethnicity," Rambo says. "I don't feel like he should be losing his job. I just think it should be a teachable moment."
Cal State Long Beach says it is taking this matter seriously and that it is investigating. The lecturer told NBC4 that he is truly sorry and that he will take the question off the exam in the future.