Tackling how to teach sensitive and complicated topics - such US oppression of Native Americans - all while keeping the content digestible, is no easy feat.
To make matters more difficult, each state has its own approach to the subjects which means where you live will depend on how the issues are taught. And one viral tweet is highlighting this problem once again.
my friend's kid's school in Georgia sent homework with this questionpic.twitter.com/pSFhJ0Ucvz
— Jennifer C. Martin (@Jennifer C. Martin)
The homework, from a virtual secular charter school in Georgia, asked students to, "write a letter to President Andrew Jackson, from the perspective of an American settler. Explain why you think removing the Cherokee will help the United States prosper."
The tweeter, Jennifer Martin, was sent the photo of her friend's son's homework and decided to put it on social media Wednesday night.
The assignment quickly gained traction with over 17,000 responses by Thursday morning. Many of the responders were angry with the assignment, arguing that asking children to justify hurting the Cherokee and other Native Americans.
Friends, raise your kids in such a manner that you get a call from the principal regarding your child's response to a question such as this.
Some responders pointed out that asking the children to take on the perspective of the US government was important to understand history but educators quickly jumped in to explain why the question was harmful.
I'm seeing all the responses saying that seeing the other perspective is important, which is true, but as an educator, we have to be very careful about how we frame questions. This is not asking to "explain the other side," as much as it's asking to identify with that side. 1/2
This makes my lecture tomorrow touching on the ongoing trauma from the U.S. genocide against Native Americans, forced removal of children from their families and culture, and forced assimilation of children feel even more relevant.
— Alyssa Burgart, MD, MA (She/Her/Anesthesia) (@Alyssa Burgart, MD, MA (She/Her/Anesthesia))
We were unable to reach the charter school in Georgia where the homework assignment originated from.