"Three good reasons for slavery" homework assignment sparks backlash in Wauwatosa

A homework assignment given to students at a Milwaukee area elementary school asked children to provide three "good reasons" for slavery, prompting outrage and a call to the school from at least one parent.

Fourth graders at Our Redeemer Lutheran School were given the assignment Monday.

"On behalf of Our Redeemer Lutheran School, we sincerely apologize for the fact that an assignment given to a fourth-grade class yesterday was not clearly explained to students and their parents".

One mother was appalled and offended by the question. "It's highly offensive and insensitive", parent Trameka Brown-Berry said. I was in shock.

According to a report in the NBC-affiliated television station WKYC-TV, the freaky assignment was first noticed by Trameka Brown-Berry, the mother of Jerome Berry, a fourth-grader studying at the school.

"Not only was my son in an bad position, but the students who weren't black - that's what keeps racism going", Brown-Berry said. That's what keeps racism going, ' she added.

Principal Jim Van Dellen told the outlet that this was assignment was a mistake, though he declined to participate in an on camera interview.


Brown-Berry's son, Jerome, refused to list "good" reasons.

However, he did admit that the assignment was unacceptable.

The school took the assignment out of the curriculum, and also plans on discussing sensitive topics with parents ahead of time in the future.

"For it to be a Christian school, they could have said something like, 'What are three good things we can do to prevent slavery from happening?'" said Andrea Michel with Safe Place Meeting Group.

Later Brown-Berry posted a message, saying that she had spoken to the school principal and that the teacher apologized to the class. "That is how you go about change. And that is what I was trying to model for my son", she stated.

Meanwhile, the identity of the teacher has not been disclosed and it's unclear whether the teacher was disciplined. Jerome, who wrote on the assignment that he is "proud to be black", penned a poignant response alongside the three blank bullet points: "I feel there is no good reason for slavery, that's why I did not write".

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