FORT WORTH, Texas — A mother near Austin was outraged by her 12-year-old daughter’s homework assignment: Draw yourself as a slave, then color and write a visualization of what you see around you.
An Austin TV station reported the incident on Saturday, when they spoke with the girl’s mother, identified as Tonya Jennings. She told the station that she was shocked when her daughter pulled the single-page assignment out of her backpack when she got home.
“There’s nothing about slavery that I would want any child, regardless of color, to have to relive,” said Jennings.
The 12-year-old reportedly attends Four Points Middle School, is part of the Leander school district near Austin. The assignment was part of a Texas history lesson regarding the Civil War and the role slavery played in the war, according to the Leander ISD.
The school district sent out a statement to the media in Austin regarding its investigation into the incident, saying, “The campus quickly responded to the parent to hear his concerns and discuss the situation. When teaching sensitive content, we strive to deliver lessons with care and context to our students.”
The school district added that while the tragic impacts of slavery in Texas and the United States have been documented. The Texas Education Agency curriculum for seventh-grade history expects students to explain reasons for Texas’ involvement in the Civil War, including states’ rights, slavery, sectionalism and tariffs.