A high school has sparked outrage after the name of teen Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse appeared along with the names of Malcolm X and Mahatma Gandhi in an assignment about the ‘Heroes’ of the Modern Age.
The controversial assignment was shared with seniors at W. T. White High School in Dallas, Texas, in an English class.
As a part of the project, the students were asked to “write at least a half-page biography” of each of the six ‘Heroes for the Modern Age’.
The list of six individuals the students were asked to write about included Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Malcolm X, Joseph Rosenbaum, George Floyd, and Kyle Rittenhouse.
For the second part of the assignment, the students were asked to choose their favorite individual and “write at least a one-page essay on which of those six persons you believe demonstrates best your concept of a hero.”
After the assignment was shared on Google Classrooms, outraged parents and students have lashed out at the school and questioned the controversial assignment.
“It was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, the spelling, Oh my gosh, there are no women on here,’ and then very ardently the fact that a white supremacist murderer’s name is on a list with important historical figures,” one student told NBC Dallas.
“The juxtaposition of George Floyd’s name with Kyle’s name was just astounding. The value of black lives are not up for debate, and that’s what it felt like this was sort of getting at — by way of the names that were included.”
Following the backlash, the Dallas Independent School District has issued an apology and assured the public that the assignment wasn’t approved before its release.
“Racial equity is a top priority in Dallas ISD, and we remain committed to providing a robust teaching environment where all students can learn,” Dallas ISD wrote in a statement obtained by CNN.
“It is important that we continue to be culturally sensitive to our diverse populations and provide a space of respect and value.”
Since the backlash, the controversial assignment has been removed and the students were informed they weren’t required to finish the task.