Dallas school district apologizes for assignment referencing Kyle Rittenhouse as ‘hero’

Also listed were Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Malcolm X, George Floyd and one of the protesters Rittenhouse allegedly shot.

The Dallas Independent School District is apologizing for a writing assignment posted to students’ online portal that asked them to write about a “hero for the modern age” and listed Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse among their subject choices. 

The two-part project first instructed students to write a half-page biography of a person they select from a roster of six names, citing at least two sources for each. The second part told them to then write a one-page essay on which of the six persons best demonstrates the student’s concept of a hero. 

Demonstrators revisit the site where a protester was killed last month in Kenosha, Wisconsin, allegedly by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

The list was comprised of Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Malcolm X, George Floyd, Rittenhouse and Joseph Rosenbaum, who was one of the Kenosha protesters Rittenhouse has been charged with killing last month. 

In the assignment, the names of Gandhi and Malcolm X were misspelled. 

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Kristian Hernandez told NBC affiliate KXAS that her younger brother, a student at W.T. White High School in Dallas, shared its details with his family.

“My brother was really in disbelief that this was actually an assignment,” she said. 

“The juxtaposition of George Floyd’s name with Kyle’s name was just astounding,” Hernandez said. “The value of Black lives are not up for debate, and that’s what it felt like this was sort of getting at — by way of the names that were included.”

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Dallas ISD apologized for the “unapproved assignment” in a statement, saying the unidentified teacher, who has been with the district for three years, created the content that was not part of the approved lesson plan. 

“Racial equity is a top priority in Dallas ISD, and we remain committed to providing a robust teaching environment where all students can learn,” the statement read. “It is important that we continue to be culturally sensitive to our diverse populations and provide a space of respect and value.”

The administration noted that students are not required to complete the assignment, and the incident is under investigation. 

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