Appleton superintendent of schools apologizes for slavery essay assignment

APPLETON, Wis. -- A history lesson from an Appleton high school, on "The Life of a slave on a Southern Plantation" prompts an apology from the superintendent of schools to families and students.

As part of an essay assignment in U.S. History, students were asked to write an instruction on what a person would "expect to do" if they were a slave.

Some of the examples were to consider the physical requirements of the job, mental requirements of the job, "relationship with your master," and "relationship with white southerners who don't own you."

Appleton Area School District Superintendent Judy Baseman said the district is in the process of reviewing the curriculum, instructional materials, and stated: "We believe the educator's choices were not intended to cause harm, we understand that this essay prompt was and is hurtful and offensive to all of our students." 

For the full district response to the assignment, click here.

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