Administrators at a Lutheran school here apologized Wednesday for a fourth-grade homework assignment that asked pupils to write "3 "good" reasons for slavery and 3 bad reasons".
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".
Our Redeemer Lutheran School in Wauwatosa apologized Thursday in a letter to parents, agreeing that the homework assignment was racially offensive and "showed a lack of sensitivity", The Associated Press reported.
But there were those who justified the assignment and the teacher, saying that it was supposed to develop critical thinking...
Give 3 "good" reasons for slavery and 3 bad reasons. Jerome, for his part, responded to the slavery question, "I feel like there is no good reason for slavery that's why I did not write".
Parent Trameka Brown-Berry, whose son was one of the students asked to complete the assignment, tells Fox 6 Now that she was appalled that any teacher would ask her son to think of good reasons for his ancestors to be enslaved by white people.
The post set off a cry from Facebook respondents and a community leader that the assignment was insensitive and offensive.
He finished the assignment with the note, "I am proud to be black because we are strong and courageous".
Brown-Berry says the assignment should be a lesson to us all.
Brown Berry seemed extremely relieved with the school's response about her concerns. "Because that leads to change", she said. "The goal of the assignment was not, in any way, to have students argue that ANY slavery is acceptable-a concept that goes against our core values and beliefs about the equality and worth of people of all races". The principal said a better effort will be made to communicate the potential teaching of sensitive subject matter with parents before it is brought to the attention of students. He also ensured that these kind of situations would not occur again. "Speak up. Tell your story", she told Fox 6.
The teacher in question has not been identified and it is unclear if the teacher was disciplined or not.