School's homework asks for 3 'good,' 3 bad reasons for slavery
In this photo, seven-year-old Jacob Lemay does his homework at his home in Melrose, Massachusetts, on May 9, 2017. Getty Images / Jewel Samad

Administrators at Our Redeemer Lutheran High School, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, apologized for an assignment that they gave to 4th Grader students asking them to write "3 'good' reasons for slavery and 3 bad reasons."

According to a report in the NBC-affiliated television station WKYC-TV, the bizarre assignment was first noticed by Trameka Brown-Berry, the mother of Jerome Berry, a fourth-grader studying at the school. She shared the picture of the homework on her Facebook profile asking fellow users if they too found it offensive.

As soon as the post was shared, it went viral with a number of users and a community leader deeming the assignment to be insensitive and offensive. WKYC-TV reported that after receiving severe backlash for the homework, school administrator Jim Van Dellen, in a telephonic interview on Jan. 10, clarified the school’s stance on the subject and said that the assignment was an "unintentionally, poorly worded assignment" and that the school administration is “in active conversation with the parents”.

The Milwaukee school also sent out several letters to the families of the pupils via email, apologizing for the error.

Brown-Berry, in a different post, appreciated the quick response from the school administrator and revealed that Van Dellen addressed all her concerns and apologized for the assignment too.

Among those who were disturbed after reading about the assignment on Facebook was the administrator of Hispanic News Network U.S.A, H. Nelson Goodson who questioned the school administration as to why a teacher would pose such a question to the children who are young learners. "It was very insensitive for the teacher to do that. The bigotry and anti-diversity feelings in this country lead people to believe it's OK to act like that,” Goodson said, USA Today reported.

Goodson also said that he is glad about the fact that Brown-Berry decided to share the homework assignment with the public. Reports state that Jerome, in his assignment, wrote a very sensible answer which read: "I feel there is no good reason for slavery."

In response to the backlash that the school received, Van Dellen along with the principal senior pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Andrew Steinke, wrote in a letter:

“On behalf of Our Redeemer Lutheran School, we sincerely apologize for the fact that an assignment given to a fourth-grade class yesterday was not clearly explained to students and their parents. The result was a strong call to action to address the situation. 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 — a concept that goes against our core values and beliefs about the equality and worth of people of all races. ... This particular assignment is no longer a part of our curriculum and we are committed to working with our families and our teachers.”

Brown Berry seemed extremely relieved with the school’s response about her concerns. Speaking of the incident, she said: “Out of a very negative situation, we were able to take (action) to resolve this issue. That is so beautiful. Thank you."