A middle school in Alabama had to issue an apology, after handing out a homework exercise which asked students to imagine that they're families were slave owners.

The assignment, which was given to eighth graders at Sunset Middle School in Brentwood Tennessee, gave several tasks relating to immigration, child labour and slavery.

The prompts included creating a public service announcement about the hazards of living in urban areas, and drawing a political cartoon depicting immigrant labour – but the most alarming of them all read:

Your family owns slaves. Create a list of expectations for your family's slaves

The tone-deaf homework went viral after the brother of one of the students, Dan Fountain, posted a picture of the chart on Twitter.

When asked why he posted the picture on social media, Fountain said:

It initially made me angry. The fact that my sister is one of a couple of black kids at her school, I can't let things like this sit around and slide

Sunset Middle School is 70 per cent white.

Many people seemed to agree with Fountain's line of thinking, commenting on the post to voice their disgust.

After the story went viral, and several complaints from parents were issued, the school apologised. Superintendent Mike Looney, said:

We have been providing professional training to our staff members on cultural awareness this year, but I admit that we have more work to do in this area.

Please know, we are absolutely committed to ensuring all of our students feel welcome, wanted, and worthwhile.Β 

Meanwhile, the teachers who assigned the paper, Susan Hooper and Kim Best, also sent out an apology via email. They said:

This week, we gave our students an assignment we recognise was inappropriate. We have pulled the assignment, and no grade will be given

We have and will be apologising to our students. It was never our intention to hurt any of our students

HT New York Post

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