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Homework assignment tells students to imagine they "own slaves"; School leader apologizes

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) - Daniel Holmes-Fountain says his 13-year-old sister was quiet and seemed uncomfortable when she came home from school Wednesday. 

"I kind of just have this issue with my homework, my assignment," Holmes-Fountain remembers her saying. 

She's an eighth-grader at Sunset Middle School in Brentwood and received an assignment which included asking students to pretend their family owns slaves and to create a list of expectations for the slaves.

"She felt like this is uncomfortable," Holmes-Fountain said. "This isn't right. I shouldn't be doing this."

His family was shocked.

"I was angry at first and then in general, just kind of hurt and disappointed," Holmes-Fountain said.

"We didn't see the academic merit in something like that." 

Dr. Mike Looney, Superintendent of Williamson County Schools, tweeted an apology saying the assignment was "...insensitive and reflects poorly on our school community." 
The tweet goes on to say that it "...doesn't reflect our district's commitment to treat all students with dignity and respect." 

Holmes-Fountain posted the assignment on social media and received lots of calls from upset parents at the school. 

He says while it's important for students to learn American History, words matter.  

"You have a responsibility to be careful about how you present this information to very impressionable people," Holmes-Fountain said. 

Here is the full statement from Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney:

 


 

 


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