A mom was shocked after checking her 4th-grade son's homework assignment, only to see that the young boy was being asked to suggest "good reasons" in favor of slavery.
The homework was set at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and School in Milwaukee.
Upon seeing the assignment, Trameka Brown-Berry took to Facebook to share her views: "Does anyone else find my fourth-grader's homework offensive?"
Thousands of people shared the photo and shared in Trameka's shock and dismay.
The assignment asked kids to provide three "good" and three "bad" reasons for slavery. The teacher had put the word "good" in quotation marks, as if to imply that there are no truly good reasons for such a terrible act, but that hardly excuses the shocking and offensive nature of the work.
The school issued a statement to a local news network: "We understand that, as presented, the words used showed a lack of sensitivity and were offensive. The purpose of the assignment was not, in any way, to have students argue that any slavery is acceptable -- a concept that goes against our core values and beliefs about the equality and worth of people of all races."
Trameka's son, Jerome, responded to the assignment by writing: "I feel there is no good reason for slavery that's why I did not write."
He filled out the "bad reasons" section with ease, and finished the paper by writing: "I am proud to be black because we are strong and brave."
Trameka Brown-Berry later wrote an update on Facebook. She revealed that she'd spoken to the principal and made five requests of the school:
- An official apology to her son and other students.
- An official apology to parents.
- The removal of the assignment from the curriculum.
- Better communication between teachers and parents when studying sensitive issues.
- Cultural competency training for the teachers.
The principal agreed to all of Trameka's demands and issued a full apology to the class.
"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. "With all of your support I was able to give my child a personal life lesson about how change starts with you."