Teacher Assigns 4th Graders Homework Asking For ‘Three Good Reasons For Slavery,’ Immediately Regrets It

In Milwaukee, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and School’s fourth-grade students were sent home with the typical history homework assignment—write about slavery. Only their teacher took the assignment in a slightly different way. They wanted the students to write three bad reasons and three “good” reasons for owning people.

In the assignment, “good” is written in quotation marks, but it’s unclear what the teacher was trying to imply.

The school states on its website that it “exists to provide a Christ-centered quality education to students in grades 3K–8.

The school eventually made a statement to local TV station WISN, saying “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.”

In the assignment posted above, the boy wrote a note at the bottom:

“I am proud to be black because we are strong and brave.”

Aside from being an incredibly brave statement from a young boy, it also reveals something horrifying—the teacher asked Black students to defend slavery. Hypothetical or not, that is a despicable choice.

That boy’s mother, Trameka Brown-Berry spoke with the school principal and made five requests. A verbal apology to her son and the class, a formal apology sent to parents, the removal of the assignment from the curriculum, that teachers notify parents when they are teaching sensitive topics, and that the school’s staff and faculty be trained in cultural competency. The principal agreed.

Brown-Berry later posted:

It’s just sad this happened to begin with.

Cyrus Massoumi
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Cyrus Massoumi is President and Managing Partner of Truth Examiner. He has worked in media for over 10 years and has been involved with social media since its genesis. As an expert in media optimization, Mr. Massoumi advises clients on media optimization strategies and has participated in the development of myriad media organizations. His first two loves in life are politics and online media. Mr. Massoumi's greatest strength is transforming ideas into highly successful conduits through which hundreds of thousands of people a day can access content. While he doesn't subscribe to either liberal or conservative doctrines, Mr. Massoumi believes that informed discourse is the highest ideal for which to strive. When not working, Mr. Massoumi enjoys cooking and spending time with his two dogs.

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