A private Wisconsin elementary school is reportedly apologizing for a homework assignment that asked fourth-graders to list "good" reasons for slavery alongside "bad" ones.
The group task, given on Monday, 8 January, also asked the pupils to list three bad reasons for slavery, Click2Houston reported. In a letter sent Tuesday to parents and students he said: 'The goal of the assignment was not, in any way, to have students argue that any slavery is acceptable'.
Trameka Brown-Berry, a parent of a student in the 4th-grade class asked to complete the assignment, told Fox 6 News she was shocked that a teacher would ask her 9-year-old to think of any plausible reasons why the enslavement of his ancestors was acceptable. The letter was shared thousands of times on Facebook and quickly provoked anger on Twitter as well.
In a January 10 telephone interview, school administrator Jim Van Dellen said the homework was an "unintentionally, poorly worded assignment" and school administrators are "in active conversations with parents".
Brown Berry seemed extremely relieved with the school's response about her concerns.
"It's highly offensive and insensitive".
"Three good reasons for slavery" homework assignment sparks backlash in Wauwatosa
On his homework assignment, Jerome responded to the slavery question, "I feel there is no good reason for slavery, that's why I did not write".
Brown-Berry followed up with a statement of her own.
One mother was shocked to see the social studies assignment and contacted the school. He says the assignment is no longer part of the curriculum.
"I wanted to model for him what it means to voice your opinion and stand up for yourself and stand up for what's right". That is how you go about change.
While Brown-Berry is satisfied with the steps she and the school are taking to ensure that something like this never happens again, she doesn't regret sharing her original post. She tells Fox 6, "And for it to be a Christian school, they could have said something like, 'What are three good things we can do to prevent slavery from happening?'"
Meanwhile, the identity of the teacher has not been disclosed and it's unclear whether the teacher was disciplined.
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