According to @thehill, a Mississippi school district is facing a backlash for assigning students a lesson called “Slave Writing Activity.”
Lamar County School District eighth grade students at Purvis Middle School were given slave writing lessons as part of a history class, The Hill reports.
For this role as slave scribes, students were asked to imagine they were working as slaves on a plantation in Mississippi. You have been instructed to “write a letter to your family in Africa or any other American state describing your life”.
According to WDAM, a screenshot of the lesson has been shared hundreds of times on social media.
Steven Hampton, superintendent of the Lamar County School District, said the activity is “showing our students the dreadfulness of slavery” and helping them “gain empathy for what it is like to be a slave.”
“We don’t discriminate against race. We want to be sensitive to what happened in the past, ”said Hampton, according to WDAM.
He also stated that the teacher in charge of the task was talking to the administrators and further discussions would be held with the administration.
Just last month, teachers at a middle school in Wisconsin were suspended after asking students how they would “punish” a slave.
One of the questions was, “A slave stands before you. This slave disregarded his master by telling him, “You are not my master.” How are you going to punish this slave? ”
School officials sent an email apologizing for a “grave error in the judgment”. At that time the teachers were on administrative leave.
Patrick Marsh Middle School headmistress Rebecca Zahn made a statement saying, “Our intent was off the mark and we are deeply sorry,” the statement read in multiple reports. “In the future we will certainly think critically about whether our intention is consistent with our effect.”