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Texas school assignment has students draw themselves as slaves

Picture courtesy Tonya Jennings

An Austin mother is upset that Four Points Middle School sent her daughter home this week with an assignment to “Draw a picture of yourself as a slave…”

“This is a learning tool that is not acceptable under any circumstances,” stated Tonya Jennings.

The assignment is in reference to discussions of “slave life in Texas in the 1850’s”, according to a picture of the assignment sent to CBS Austin by Jennings.

Upon learning of the assignment, Jennings husband went to the school Friday to discuss the issue with administrators.

A Leander ISD spokesperson sent a statement to CBS Austin Saturday night, explaining that the state “asks students to be able to identify points of view from the historical

context surrounding an event and the frame of reference that influenced the participants.”.

Jennings plans to speak with school officials Monday.

“It needs to be removed,” stated Jennings.

Full statement from Leander ISD:

A parent contacted Four Points Middle School earlier today with a concern about a Texas
History lesson regarding the Civil War and the role of slavery. 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 tragic impacts of slavery are well documented and relevant to our state and nation's
history. The state curriculum for seventh-grade history expects students to explain reasons
for Texas' involvement in the Civil War, including states' rights, slavery, sectionalism and
tariffs. The state also asks students to be able to identify points of view from the historical
context surrounding an event and the frame of reference that influenced the participants.
For more information about the seventh-grade social studies curriculum, please refer to
the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website , section "113.19. Social Studies, Grade 7,
Beginning with School Year 2011-2012", sub-sections five and 21.

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