A Texas teacher has been put on leave after issuing a class assignment asking students to list the positive and negative aspects of slavery. Parents were clearly outraged and the charter school now has issued an apology saying the worksheet was a “clear mistake.”
“To be clear, there is no debate about slavery,” said Aaron Kindel, superintendent of Great Hearts Texas in a statement on Facebook.
“It is immoral and a crime against humanity.” He said the worksheet was shared by one teacher and the school is investigating the incident and conducting an audit.
Parent Roberto Livar put the school on blast posting the worksheet his son Manu was asked to complete.
His son is an eighth-grader at Great Hearts Monte Vista and received the assignment In an American history class.
The revisionist worksheet was titled, “The Life of Slaves: A Balanced View.”
To be clear: there is nothing balanced about slavery.
Livar said he is “pissed.”
“We are fully aware that there is a concerted effort by the far-right nationally to reframe slavery as being ‘not that bad’ and trying to revise the civil war as being about ‘states rights’ and not about slavery,” he told HuffPost in a Facebook message. “We were concerned that this assignment fell in line with that ideology and were naturally concerned, as well as other parents.”
Livar said his family is Mexican-American and identifies as Chicano. He said this likely happened because the school is short on diversity.
“These issues are not isolated to one school or one book,” Livar said. “These issues are systemic and continue up the chain all the way to the Texas School Board of Education.”
Other parents commended Livar for bring the worksheet to their attention. But it hasn’t been an easy road for his son who he said has received backlash and has been “attacked by many at his school.”
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) also chimed in and called the assignment “absolutely unacceptable” in a tweet.