Jessica Gibson says she won't let her 11-year-old son complete a school assignment that she says took a lesson about slavery too far.Should the child be allowed to complete an alternate assignment if a parent finds an assignment inappropriate? I assert that the answer is yes, sometimes. A parent who finds one assignment exceedingly inappropriate, well, accommodate that. If a parent finds too many assignments inappropriate, then teachers would be going beyond providing alternate assignments and would be being asked to provide an alternate curriculum for a particular student. At that point, the parent is out of line and either needs to accept the approved curriculum or find a different school for their child.
"Pretend that you are a slave in the southern United States," says the assignment. "Write a journal/diary memoir about your life."
Gibson, 27, of Melvindale, Mich., said her sixth-grade son, Taylan, received the social studies assignment from a Strong Middle School teacher last month. But her son hid it from her, later telling her he didn't want to do it. Gibson found out about it last week.
"He's never had a master nor will he ever have a master, so why should he have to pretend to have a master?" Gibson said. "That really disturbed me"...
Taylan had been learning about slavery when he got the assignment. He said it embarrassed him.
"I'm black, and it was a slave assignment," he said.
His mother, who is biracial, said she doesn't think anyone should be required to complete the assignment, regardless of race.
"For him to pretend to be something he's never been or never will be, that's going too far," she said.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Good Assignment, Or Bad?
It could be either, depending on how it was conducted: