A private Wisconsin elementary school is reportedly apologizing for a homework assignment that asked fourth-graders to list “good” reasons for slavery alongside “bad” ones.
Our Redeemer Lutheran School in Wauwatosa apologized Thursday in a letter to parents, agreeing that the homework assignment was racially offensive and “showed a lack of sensitivity,” The Associated Press reported.
“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 letter to parents read.
The assignment was originally posted online Monday night by a parent, Trameka Brown-Berry, who captioned an image of the worksheet “Does anyone else find my 4th grader’s homework offensive?” The letter was shared thousands of times on Facebook and quickly provoked anger on Twitter as well.
“You wouldn’t ask someone to list three good reasons for rape or three good reasons for the Holocaust,” Brown-Berry told the AP.
The school’s principal, Jim Van Dellen, refused to comment to the AP on Thursday but signed the letter to parents, which was written with the help of Brown-Berry.
Brown-Berry told the news service that Van Dellen agreed with her suggestions, which included diversity awareness training for staff and an apology from the teacher to students.