School District Apologizes for Spanish Assignment Deemed Racist

Parents and social media users have since labeled the middle school assignment as “blatant racism," and administrators called it "unacceptable."

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A school district in upstate New York has issued an apology after people called a recent middle school Spanish assignment racist. 

The work in question was given to sixth graders at Mill Middle School, where they were asked to translate sentences from English to Spanish. One read, “You...are Mexican and ugly,” and a later sentence read, “You...are pretty and American,” per local station WGRZ.

Social media users have since labeled the assignment as “blatant racism,” as Williamsville Central School District administrators have called the teacher-created worksheet “unacceptable.”

Shocked at this Spanish homework assignment in Williamsville Central School District loaded with such blatant racism. Can we even begin to unpack all that is wrong here? Who is developing this curriculum & where is the oversight?@SheriRodman @karenvaites @Remarsh76 @GholdyM

— Allison Wainick (@AJ_WFlo) January 11, 2022

“We are addressing the situation to ensure this does not happen again,” administrators wrote on Facebook. “The District does not condone any instructional material that denigrates our students, families, culture, or beliefs. This assignment fails to meet our standard and will be dealt with appropriately.”

It remains unclear if disciplinary action will be taken against the unnamed teacher, as WGRZ reports a district spokesperson offered no further comment outside of the above statement. Superintendent Dr. Darren Brown-Hall started a school board meeting last week by calling the worksheet unacceptable and reading the prepared statement. 

“I’m extremely disappointed with Mill Middle for letting the disgusting and inexcusable language such as this to be presented in the classroom,” district parent Marcelo Florencio told the Buffalo News. “I believe there is no place for it in school or our children’s lives.”

Just last month, a Washington, D.C. elementary school teacher was put on leave after having students reportedly reenact scenes from the Holocaust. One Jewish student was allegedly asked to reenact Adolf Hitler’s suicide.

“I want to acknowledge the gravity of this poor instructional decision, as students should never be asked to act out or portray any atrocity, especially genocide, war, or murder,” Watkins Elementary School Principal Scott Berkowitz reportedly wrote in the email.

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