'Give 3 good reasons for slavery': 4th-grade homework assignment sparks angerPosted: Updated:
Fourth-graders at a Wisconsin Christian school were asked to name three "good" and "bad" reasons for slavery.
One mother was shocked to see the social studies assignment and contacted the school.
"It was the fact that she wanted my African-American son to name three good things for slavery. That's insulting," Trameka Brown-Berry said.
Brown-Berry's son responded to the question: "I feel that there is no good reason, that's why I did not write."
He finished the worksheet by writing: "I am proud to be black, because we are strong and brave."
"Not only was my son in an awful 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," Brown-Berry said. "That's what's dangerous. That's what keeps racism going."
In an apology statement, Our Redeemer Lutheran School said the teacher didn't clearly explain the assignment to students and their parents.
"We understand that, as presented, the words used showed a lack of sensitivity and were offensive. 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 took the assignment out of the curriculum, and also plans on discussing sensitive topics with parents ahead of time in the future.
Brown-Berry believes she has set a good example for her son.
"I wanted to model for him what it means to voice your opinion and stand up for yourself and stand up for what's right. Because that leads to change," she said.
Principal Van Dellen said he'll be meeting with Brown-Berry Wednesday. He wouldn't say whether the teacher who handed out the assignment is being disciplined.
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