Wisconsin Private School Admits Assignment Asking Students to List Three Good Reasons for Slavery Was Offensive 


The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that a private school in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin has apologized to parents after the mother of a black student posted a photograph of her son’s fourth grade homework on Facebook on Monday. The assignment asked the elementary school students to “Give 3 ‘good’ reasons for slavery and 3 bad reasons.” Yes, “good” really appears on the paper in quotation marks, and the prompt goes on to request the answers be delivered in “COMPLETE SENTENCES.”

The institution under scrutiny, Our Redeemer Lutheran School, sent a letter to parents on Tuesday thanking the mother, Trameka Brown-Berry, for expressing her concern, and agreeing that the assignment was offensive and “showed a lack of sensitivity.” According to Brown-Berry, the school also condescendingly claimed that the assignment was meant to get students thinking about why white people used to think that slavery was good, not why slavery actually was good, although the wording of the question would indicate otherwise

Brown-Berry told the AP, “You wouldn’t ask someone to list three good reasons for rape or three good reasons for the Holocaust.”

Principal Jim Van Dellen said in a statement to the AP on Thursday, “Our Redeemer regrets deeply an unjustifiable assignment on slavery earlier this week…. [The church and school] work hard to promote the human dignity of all people, and this assignment did no reflect our core values or practices.”

To return to the picture Brown-Berry posted online of her son’s homework, you will notice he wrote, “I feel there is no good reason for slavery that’s why I did not write.” Holy shit, don’t make a small child have to write that, “instructors.”

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