The parents of a seventh-grade student in Austin, Texas, were alarmed by a question on their 12-year-old daughter's homework assignment that instructed her to draw a slave.

Tonya Jennings, the mother of the child, said her daughter returned home from her social studies class at Four Points Middle School on Feb. 8 with a seemingly ordinary homework assignment, according to KVUE, an Austin station. However, one portion of the 16-page packet asked for the students to draw themselves as a slave. 

"I turn it, and then, of course, my eye is drawn to the title, 'Making Sense with the Senses,'" Jennings told KVUE. "Then I read the four points. And I stopped after reading, 'Draw a picture of yourself as a slave.' I just stopped right there."

"I realized I had to explain to her what this meant or what they were trying to get to. And then I realized I didn't know what they were trying to get to or what they were trying to do," the mother added.

The assignment asked the students to reflect upon a class discussion that detailed slave life in 1850's Texas, which was then proceeded by a series of steps. The steps read: "Draw a picture of yourself as a slave in the center of the page. Color the picture," according to the document obtained by Spectrum News

The assignment also requested that students "write one sentence that describes your surroundings using each of the five senses (smell, hearing, sight, taste, touch)." Each step would allow students to earn points, provided that the task was completed with neatness and creativity. 

Leander Independent School District (LISD), which is the district the middle school is a part of, addressed the controversy at hand.

"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," Corey Ryan, chief communications officer with LISD, said in a statement issued to International Business Times. "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 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," Ryan added.

Texas seventh-grade students enrolled in social studies courses are required to learn about the state's history, according to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website. In addition to explaining the reasoning for issues like slavery and states' rights, students are also required to learn about the Great Depression and the Civil Rights movements, among other subject areas.

Four Points Middle School isn't the first school to hand out a homework assignment that seemingly made light of slavery. In January, a fourth-grade class at a Wisconsin private school was required to write three good things and three bad things about slavery. This elicited an apology from the school, saying: "We understand that, as presented, the words used showed a lack of sensitivity and were offensive. The purpose of the assignment was not, in any way, to have students argue that ANY slavery is acceptable," USA Today reported.