Trameka Brown-Berry, a parent of a student in the 4th-grade class asked to complete the assignment, told Fox 6 News she was shocked that a teacher would ask her 9-year-old to think of any plausible reasons why the enslavement of his ancestors was acceptable.
“It’s highly offensive and insensitive. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe they sent something like that home. Not only was my son in an awful position, but the students who weren’t black — that’s what keeps racism going.” Brown-Berry said to the news station.
The principal at Our Redeemer Lutheran School, Jim Van Dellen, issued a formal apology and also noted that students should not have completed the assignment because there are no good reasons for slavery of any kind.
In a letter to parents, Van Dellen wrote: “The purpose of the assignment was not, in any way, to have students argue that slavery is acceptable.” According to him, the teacher did not assign the assignment with malice and that the main purpose of it was to spark debate in English class.
Van Dellen refused to comment on if the teacher would be disciplined or not.