Wisconsin School Asked 4th Graders 3 Good Reasons For Slavery, Faces Backlash

4th Grade Assignment Asked Students to Give 3 'Good' Reasons for Slavery

A homework assignment asking students to "give three good reasons for slavery" that was meant to start a dialogue in a fourth grade English class has instead caused an uproar at Our Redeemer Lutheran School in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

Trameka Brown-Berry posted a photo of the assignment on Facebook last week, asking, "Does anyone else find my 4th grader's homework offensive?"

He sent a letter to parents and students Tuesday, saying, "The goal of the assignment was not, in any way, to have students argue that any slavery is acceptable". It said, "Give three good reasons for slavery and three bad reasons". She said it's good for students to learn about slavery but that the assignment's question was shocking. He then followed his response with his three bad reasons, which included, "biting them", "splitting them up from family members", and "making them do your chores and work when it's your job". He made sure to mention he is proud to be black. They signed the letter, which Brown-Berry said she helped write.

Brown-Berry posted the assignment online because she wants it to be a lesson for us all.

Among those who were disturbed after reading about the assignment on Facebook was the administrator of Hispanic News Network U.S.A, H. Nelson Goodson who questioned the school administration as to why a teacher would pose such a question to the children who are young learners.


The school's principal, Jim Van Dellen, has since apologized for the assignment, saying in a note written to parents: "We understand that, as presented, the words used showed a lack of sensitivity and were offensive".

"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.

She also said the teachers must be trained in "cultural diversity/cultural competency inservice to prevent this from happening again".

The principal says the assignment is no longer part of the curriculum and vows to better communicate sensitive subjects being discussed in class with parents before presenting it to students.

All her requests were agreed on by the school.

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