A school in Indianapolis, Indiana is under fire after a teacher assigned a Black History Month project that directed students to draw Black people picking cotton.
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According to officials at the school district, students at Fall Creek Valley Middle School were given a school assignment to draw pictures of how people lived in the north and the south back in the 1800s.
But the Clark family says the teacher took the assignment too far when she prompted students to draw a Black person picking cotton and a white person working with machines.
Raymond Clark says his daughter and some of the students were very upset by the assignment and refused to complete the project. Some students were visibly in tears over the assignment. Clark’s daughter also took pictures of her classmate’s drawings and send them to her parent.
It disturbed her to a point where she was like, ‘I got to call mom and dad,'” Ramond told WTHR. “Picking cotton is forced labor. It’s not a part of our heritage.”
Ramond Clark and his wife Cindy believe the only way to fix things like this from happening in the future is positive changes to the curriculum.
There are so many other things that could have been discussed, like inventors and business owners,” said Ramond in an interview with WTHR.
“Racism has gone on far too long. We know it’s not going anywhere, but it doesn’t belong in Lawrence Township schools or any district.”
Lawrence Township school board officials say they are committed to providing high-quality instructions to all their students and the assignment in question did not reflect their values. The school district also confirmed with WTHR that they have spoken with the teacher as well as all parents who had concerns about the assignment. As of yet, no disciplinary actions have been taken against the teacher.
Meanwhile, conservative politicians and pundits continue to use Critical Race Theory as a disingenuous political strategy to rally their base. But in schools teachers still struggle to even understand the right or wrong way to teach Black history to its students.
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