A homework assignment about police brutality that was given to a class at Wilson Middle School in Hamilton, Ohio, has caused a considerable amount of concern and outrage among parents.
The assignment, entitled "Vocabulary – Police Brutality," tested students' vocabulary skills by asking them to fill in the blanks in the worksheet using words from a list, WLWT reported.
The words in the list included "brutality," "merely," "prosecuted," "excessive," and "minority."
This paragraph in the worksheet in particular has raised the ire of some parents, who are now discussing the assignment on Facebook:
"The numbers don't lie; minority people (more so black than Hispanic) experience more violent arrests from police officers than do white people. The unfortunate thing is that most police officers aren't prosecuted in cases of brutality against them."
The worksheet continues with, "These cases [rarely] make it to court and the officers are acquitted of any crime."
Hamilton City Schools Superintendent Tony Orr responded to parents' criticism by explaining that the purpose of the assignment was to help students exercise their critical thinking skills while discussing current events.
“We have a teacher that's given a topic, and we will continue to work with all of our teachers to make sure that, yes, we want higher level thinking," Orr told WLWT. "We want our kids to read and write critically, but in doing that, we also need to develop our lesson plans accordingly."
Orr did not say whether the teacher who assigned the worksheet planned to give out a similar assignment in the future that is more supportive of police officers.
It is unclear whether any disciplinary action was taken against the teacher, who is still employed with Hamilton City Schools at this time.
This was not the first time a homework assignment on current events has caused controversy.
In November 2015, the parent of a ninth grader in the Houston Independent School District complained about an assignment that her daughter received in her geography class which asked students to analyze the words of an ISIS recruiter, KTRK reported at the time.
The assignment was given to students a few days after the terrorist organization's attacks in Paris.