One of the parents, Trameka Brown-Berry, uploaded a photo of her son Jerome’s home assignment to her Facebook page, asking if anyone else found her fourth-grader’s homework offensive. The picture received over 2,700 shares and nearly 400 comments.
The social studies homework assignment was supposed to make children think of three “good” reasons for slavery and three bad ones. Jerome, for his part, responded to the slavery question, “I feel like there is no good reason for slavery that’s why I did not write.”
The image sparked a tsunami of reactions on Facebook, with users proud of the boy’s response:
And others, bursting with outrage…
But there were those who justified the assignment and the teacher, saying that it was supposed to develop critical thinking…
And someone even experienced the same thing 5 years ago…
Our Redeemer Lutheran School did not respond immediately, however issued an apology, saying that the teacher did not explain the assignment to students and their parents in a proper way.
"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 said in a statement to local TV station WESH.
Later Brown-Berry posted a message, saying that she had spoken to the school principal and that the teacher apologized to the class.
"The moral of the story is, the only way to teach our kids to stand up for their rights and respect is to model it," she wrote. "With all of your support I was able to give my child a personal life lesson about how change starts with you."