At Great Hearts Monte Vista North campus, eighth-grade students were assigned homework about slavery that the school is now calling “inappropriate and entirely inconsistent with Great Hearts philosophy and culture.”
The worksheet given to Roberto Livar’s son was titled “The Life of Slaves: A Balanced View,” and asked students to fill in two columns, one to list “positive aspects” and another for “negative aspects” of slavery.
Livar posted a photo of his son’s worksheet on Facebook on Wednesday afternoon.
“What the hell is this revisionist history lesson trying to achieve here?!?” Livar’s post began. “This is unacceptable and gross. There will most definitely be a parent/student/teacher/administrator meeting taking place ASAP!!!”
The post attracted the ire of U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) on Twitter and received a response from school administrators Thursday.
“In the eighth grade American History class students were asked to reflect on the differing sides of slavery. To be clear, there is no debate about slavery. It is immoral and a crime against humanity,” Superintendent Aaron Kindel wrote in a prepared statement.
Upon review of the situation, Kindel said Great Hearts found the incident to be limited to the one teacher at the Great Hearts Monte Vista North campus. School officials said they are removing the textbook from all of its Texas academies and placing the teacher on leave pending an investigation. The campus also plans to have its headmaster and teachers spend time with the affected students to “explain the mistake.”
The school also plans to conduct an audit of the American History textbook, Prentice Hall Classics: A History of the United States.
“If we deem this textbook imprudent we will permanently remove and replace it with a history book that accurately reflects our values,” Kindel wrote.
The school plans to issue follow-up communications on May 9.
Castro tweeted following the incident, calling the situation “absolutely unacceptable.”