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Teacher on leave after assignment asks students to list ‘positive aspects’ of slavery

SAN ANTONIO — A San Antonio charter school teacher is on leave after assigning a worksheet asking students to list the positive and negative aspects to slavery, according to Fox 29 San Antonio.

The assignment, which was titled “The Life of Slaves: A Balanced View,” was given to students at Monte Vista Charter School on Wednesday.

“My wife picks him up from school and as soon as they pull out of the parking lot, he showed her the assignment and was pretty distraught by having to perform such a classroom assignment, and naturally my wife was upset, sent me the photo that went viral,” said Robert Livar, whose son is an eighth-grader at the school.

Great Hearts Texas Superintendent Aaron Kindel released a statement on the assignment Thursday morning, calling it “insensitive.”

Last evening Great Hearts was made aware that one of our teachers at the Monte Vista North campus assigned homework that was very inappropriate and entirely inconsistent with Great Hearts philosophy and culture. In the 8th grade American History class students were asked to reflect on the differing sides of slavery. To be clear, there is no debate about slavery. It is immoral and a crime against humanity.

Our review of the situation found this incident to be limited to one teacher at just one campus. It was a clear mistake and we sincerely apologize for the insensitive nature of this offense. We want to thank the parents who voiced their concern and brought this to our attention. We are removing the textbook from all of our Texas academies. Please know Great Hearts is taking this seriously, including placing this teacher on leave while we have time to collect all the facts.

The textbook for the course, “Prentice Hall Classics: A History of the United States,” was removed from use and will be audited.