San Antonio School Asks Students to List ‘Positives’ and ‘Negatives’ of Slavery

Eighth graders at Great Hearts Monte Vista in San Antonio were asked to weigh the “positives” and “negatives” of slavery for an assignment, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The charter school’s American history class distributed a worksheet to students titled, “The Life of Slaves: A Balanced View.” A parent posted the worksheet on social media, and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) reportedly asked the parent for a copy. Superintendent Aaron Kindel issued a statement Thursday calling the assignment “very inappropriate and entirely inconsistent with Great Hearts philosophy and culture.” He announced that the teacher involved has been placed on leave while the school district takes “time to collect all the facts.” Kindel also said the school’s headmaster and teachers would meet with “impacted students to explain the mistake[.]” Castro told The Daily Beast that “asking students to complete such an assignment challenges the reality that slavery was utterly dehumanizing. It is also an affront to the basic idea of human liberty.” He also said the school “should do a full review of its history curriculum and those who teach it,” and is waiting a response from the school's headmaster.