Question about why Africans make good slaves concerns students and parents

Question about why Africans make good slaves concerns students and parents
Updated: Oct. 23, 2017 at 6:27 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Some parents at Piedmont IB Middle School are concerned about a class assignment students had to complete.

"He was bothered so I initially said 'really'" the mother said.

The parent doesn't want to be identified but says her child sent her a text with the assignment. The mother saw question number three and was surprised. The question asked students to name four reasons why Africans made good slaves.

Charlotte Mecklenburg School District (CMS) says the question had to do with a reading assignment the students did. The mother then read question number two on the assignment and was disturbed again.

"Regarding why Native Americans made bad slaves, was just one of disgust - disbelief. It was assuming that slavery was deserving of any adjective other than bad," the parent said.

The mother and another parent met with the principal of Piedmont IB Middle School.  They were pleased by the immediate action that took place.

"They had the same reaction of 'I can see why there is this concern', but the assignment had been supposedly in place for awhile," the parent said.

The mother said other students also felt uncomfortable and didn't complete the assignment. The principal decided to remove the assignment and says it will not be counted. The mother says the administration will also do a better job vetting the curriculum.

CMS is responding to this story.  The district says curriculum used in the classrooms must cover the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.  It must also adhere to research and evidence and must be vetted through teachers, principals, and central office staff.

When talking about the particular assignment at Piedmont IB Middle School, the district released this statement.

"The Piedmont assignment was teacher-created and did not come from district-purchased materials (and they have been using it for the past several years). When teachers use their own (or found) resources they must ensure that they are aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. The Piedmont IB Middle assignment did not ask students to put themselves into the situation. Instead, the assignment was asking students to read an article written about said questions and provide answers based on the information contained in the article."

The parent says if her child didn't say anything, she would not have known about the assignment.  She advises parents to check in on what their kids are doing inside the classrooms.

"Whether it's in class, asking them daily how was your day. We talk about the topics they are discussing in school - same with homework."

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