Our Redeemer Lutheran School in Wisconsin recently had to apologize after a teacher gave a decidedly improper assignment to 4th grade English students: Give 3 reasons why slavery was "good", and 3 reasons why it was bad.
Obviously, the teacher did not care a whit for the fact that some students in her class were black.
The educator's lapse of judgment came to light after Trameka Brown-Berry shared her son assignment on Facebook and asked if others felt it was inappropriate. "I couldn't believe they sent something like that home", she said.
"Not only was my son in an terrible position, but the students who weren't black, because it's that sort of mentality of not being able to see from another's perspective and only seeing your lens- that's what risky". Reports state that Jerome, in his assignment, wrote a very sensible answer which read: "I feel there is no good reason for slavery".
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However, little Jerome was undaunted by the assignment, which he defiantly completed. She saw he'd already listed bad reasons for slavery - "making them do your chores", splitting up families and "punishing them". The 9-year-old also finished the assignment by saying, "I am proud to be black because we are strong and fearless".
Brown-Berry said this homework should be a lesson to us all, and explained why she posted it online. That is how you go about change. "And that is what I was trying to model for my son", Brown-Berry said. She said the teacher has also apologised to students.
Brown Berry seemed extremely relieved with the school's response about her concerns.
Principal Jim Van Dellen's apology statement stated, "We understand that, as presented, the words used showed a lack of sensitivity and were offensive".
Apparently, the assignment was meant to "spark debate" in the class, but it only sparked controversy. He wouldn't say whether the teacher who handed out the assignment is being disciplined.