A school district apologised for a homework assignment that instructed students to pretend that their 'family owns slaves'

danholfountain/TwitterThe assignment.
  • A school district in Tennessee apologised after issuing a middle school homework assignment asking students to pretend that they owned slaves, and set expectations for them.
  • A student’s sibling shared a picture of the assignment on Twitter, calling attention to it.
  • In a statement issued on Twitter, Mike Looney, the superintendent of Williamson County Schools, apologised for the assignment, calling it “wholly inappropriate.”

A school district in Tennessee apologised after issuing a middle school homework assignment asked them to pretend that their families owned slaves and set “expectations” for them, the Tennessean reported.

According to the outlet, eighth-grade students at Sunset Middle School in Franklin, Tennessee, were asked to complete a handwritten assignment on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Daniel Fountain, who says his 13-year-old sister was given the assignment, shared a picture of the worksheet on Twitter.

Fountain called the worksheet insensitive and harmful.

“It initially made me angry. The fact that my sister is one of a couple of black kids at her school, I can’t let things like this sit around and slide,” Fountain told the Tennessean. “The way the questions were phrased and laid out had no academic merit. “

He continued: “I don’t like the aspect that my sister is describing how she would be treated as a slave. It doesn’t benefit anyone.”

Read more: A Virginia high school faced backlash after students posed with Confederate flags on a ‘country vs. country club’ spirit day

Following the backlash, the school district apologised for the assignment. In a letter to Sunset Middle School parents, which was also shared on Twitter, superintendent Mike Looney said it was “wholly inappropriate” to ask students to pretend that their families owned slaves and write out a list of expectations for them.

“The assignment was wholly inappropriate and doesn’t reflect our district’s commitment to treat all students with dignity and respect. The assignment has been pulled and no grades will be recorded,” he wrote.

The superintendent also said he wants the district to do better.

“Please accept my sincere apology for this gross error in judgment from WCS personnel,” the statement said. “We have been providing professional training to our staff members on cultural awareness this year, but I admit that we have more work to do in this area.”

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