Texas school to discontinue assignment asking students to draw themselves as a slave

Feb 13, 2018 by

Photo by Bogdan Dada on Unsplash

An Austin area school district said it is discontinuing an assignment which asked students to draw themselves as a slave.

The take-home lesson, first reported on by KVUE after a parent expressed outrage, was originally intended to teach the consequences of slavery and generate empathy, a spokesperson for Leander ISD told Chron.com on Monday.

“It’s not something the school is going to keep doing,” spokesperson Corey Ryan said.

In the assignment, students were asked to draw themselves as a slave in Texas during the 1850s, as well as write a sentence for each of the five senses that would describe their surroundings during the time.

“There’s nothing about slavery that I would want any child, regardless of color, to have to relive,” Tonya Jennings, the mother who met with school officials to discuss the assignment, told KVUE.

A statement by Leander ISD read as followed:

A parent contacted Four Points Middle School earlier today with a concern about a Texas History lesson regarding the Civil War and the role of slavery. The campus quickly responded to the parent to hear his concerns and discuss the situation. When teaching sensitive content, we strive to deliver lessons with care and context to our students.

The tragic impacts of slavery are well documented and relevant to our state and nation’s history. The state curriculum for seventh-grade history expects students to explain reasons for Texas’ involvement in the Civil War, including states’ rights, slavery, sectionalism and tariffs. The state also asks students to be able to identify points of view from the historical context surrounding an event and the frame of reference that influenced the participants.

For more information about the seventh-grade social studies curriculum, please refer to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website, section “113.19. Social Studies, Grade 7, Beginning with School Year 2011-2012”, sub-sections five and 21.


Source: Texas school to discontinue assignment asking students to draw themselves as a slave – Houston Chronicle

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