Parents and students at W. T. White High School in Dallas, Texas, are outraged after an assignment, given to seniors in an English class, listed Kenosha gunman Kyle Rittenhouse as “Hero for the Modern Age” alongside George Floyd and Malcolm X.
The two-part assignment first asked the students to write a biography of the six people listed and then to submit a one-page essay on who among those six people they believed best demonstrated the concept of being a hero.
Malcolm X and Mahatma Gandhi were on the list of people the students were to choose from. Also included was Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who killed two Black Lives Matters protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Also listed were George Floyd, Cesar Chavez and Joseph Rosenbaum - one Rittenhouse’s victim.
Photo Credit: CBSDFW
The assignment, posted on Google Classrooms, misspelled the names of Gandhi and Malcolm X.
The assignment was criticized by both students and parents, with Kristian Hernandez, the older sister of one student, telling NBC Dallas that she questioned the integrity of the assignment.
“It was just like, 'Oh my gosh, the spelling, Oh my gosh, there are no women on here,' and then very ardently the fact that a white supremacist murderer's name is on a list with important historical figures,” she said.
“The juxtaposition of George Floyd's name with Kyle's name was just astounding. The value of black lives are not up for debate, and that's what it felt like this was sort of getting at — by way of the names that were included,” she added.
Hernandez stated that her brother was in “disbelief” over the assignment.
Data obtained by Dallas ISD states that the students at W.T. White High School are 81 per cent Hispanic and 10 per cent African American.
Photo Credit: Twitter/Indigenous
The Dallas Independent School District offered an apology for the assignment and stated that it had not been approved.
In a statement to CNN, the district said: “Racial equity is a top priority in Dallas ISD, and we remain committed to providing a robust teaching environment where all students can learn. It is important that we continue to be culturally sensitive to our diverse populations and provide a space of respect and value.”
The director of news and information for Dallas ISD, Robyn Harris, said that the assignment had been removed from Google Classroom and that students were not required to complete it.
The teacher behind the assignment was not identified, but the district stated that it was taking “appropriate steps” moving forward.
“We absolutely take these incidents seriously and even though these are personal matters, we are absolutely making sure that the proper and appropriate measures are being taken,” said Harris.
Sources: Daily Mail