We're officially in 2018 and we still can't get away from ignorant approaches to race. According to ABC 13, a Christian elementary school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is receiving backlash after a teacher gave out a social studies homework assignment where students were asked to list "three good reasons for slavery," according to Fox 6.
The parents of the fourth-grade students at Our Redeemer Lutheran School were in shock when they saw the assignment. Trameka Brown-Berry posted an image of her son Jerome's homework on Facebook, writing, "Does anyone else find my fourth-grader's homework offensive?" It has since been shared over 2,000 times with other parents commenting on the polarizing assignment. Becca Dernier wrote, "There are so many different ways this could have been worded. The teacher was being insensitive. Example: 'Who benefited from slavery? List three ways that they benefited from it, and explain your answers.' Just using the word good with quotations isn't enough without context. The teacher (of fourth graders might I add) should have known better."
"It's highly offensive and insensitive. I was in shock. I couldn't believe they sent something like that home," Brown-Berry added.
Our Redeemer Lutheran School later shared a statement stating the teacher failed to clearly explain the assignment. "We understand that, as presented, the words used showed a lack of sensitivity and were offensive," it read. "The purpose 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 school's principal Jim van Dellen also weighed in on the situation, sending a letter to parents stating the assignment is no longer part of their curriculum. "The purpose of the assignment was not, in any way, to have students argue that any slavery is acceptable," he wrote.