Parents Shocked By 8th Grade ‘Slavery’ Homework

The homework assignment at Sunset Middle School has since been pulled. (Getty Images/diego_cervo)

Thursday’s headlines revolved around Virginia’s first lady asking African-American students to imagine being slaves and Friday’s headlines center on asking students to imagine they were the slave owners themselves.

Per the Tennessean, that ask came via an 8th-grade homework assignment at Sunset Middle School in Williamson County, Tenn., in which students were instructed Wednesday to contemplate and report back on this directive: “Your family owns slaves. Create a list of expectations for your family’s slaves.”

The handwritten assignment, which touched on immigration and child labor as well, also included instructions to “create a PSA informing citizens of hazards living in urban areas” and “create a political cartoon depicting immigrant labor in the United States.”

Fox News describes family members of some students as being “flabbergasted” at the homework at the mostly white school, per the state’s education department. Dan Fountain showed a picture of his sister’s homework sheet on Twitter, telling the Tennessean that the way many of the questions were worded “doesn’t benefit anyone.”

He says some questions “essentially allow children to run wild with their conscious or unconscious bias of other people.” The principal and district superintendent have offered their apologies for the assignment (WTVF has the superintendent’s letter in its entirety), as have Susan Hooper and Kim Best, the two teachers who handed it out.

“The assignment was insensitive, and it did not promote Sunset Middle’s goal of an inclusive environment,” the pair said, adding they’d be personally apologizing to their students.

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Posted by on March 1, 2019. Filed under NEWS I FIND INTERESTING. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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One Response to Parents Shocked By 8th Grade ‘Slavery’ Homework

  1. Glenn Geist Reply

    March 1, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Perhaps sensitivity is appropriate at that age, but addressing the problem of judging historical people against modern concepts of morality is an important one. I don’t think it’s wrong to ask yourself what your “normal” would be or how you might feel about an ethos you were born into and trained to accept, even by your teachers and preachers?

    Just how many people grow up to question the society and religion and morality of their times? It’s easy to say you would reject slaver and free your slaves, but how will posterity treat your ethics of today? Are you sure your heart is pure and your deeds are saintly and you’re living all the way up to your obligation to serve justice even at personal risk? Live long enough and someone will be sure to inform you otherwise.

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