A school has been forced to apologise for assigning students “disturbing” homework that likened police officers to the Ku Klux Klan.
The Wylie Independent Schools District in the US state of Texas apologised after a social studies teacher at Cooper Junior High gave students a political cartoon as part of an assignment.
The cartoon showed the treatment of black people in America over time, starting with slave owners before moving onto KKK members and police officers holding weapons while a black man lays on the ground.
Police have come under heavy scrutiny in past months after the death of black man George Floyd in police custody sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the world.
Fraternal Order of Police National Vice President Joe Gamaldi tweeted a picture of the cartoon while heavily criticising the assignment.
“Eighth grade teachers in a school outside of Dallas gave students a homework assignment comparing police officers to slave owners and the KKK,” he said.
“This is abhorrent and disgusting, and only further widens the gap between police officers and the youth in our community.”
‘Abhorrent’ comparison sparks outrage in parents, union
Mr Gamaldi sent Wylie ISD Superintendent David Vinson a letter outlining his concerns after he became aware of the cartoon.
“I cannot begin to tell you how abhorrent and disturbing this comparison is, but what is more disturbing is that no adult within your school thought better before sending this assignment to children,” he wrote.
“After one of the concerned parents reached out, you said you would ‘review’ the matter, and apologised.
“Might I suggest pulling the assignment back immediately and issuing an apology to every family who had to view the material your teachers sent out.
“You see police officers are a diverse group of individuals who are working diligently to have conversations, often difficult ones, with our communities and our children.
“We are willing to sit down with anyone and have a fact-based conversation about our profession, but divisiveness like your teachers showed does nothing to move that conversation forward.”
On August 21, Mr Gamaldi tweeted the school district had reached out and cancelled the assignment and would issue an apology to students.
Fox4 reports Wylie ISD admitted the cartoon was divisive.
“We are sorry for any hurt that may have been caused through a social studies lesson that included political cartoons that reflected negatively on law enforcement,” the school district said.
“Wylie ISD values our school resource officers and all members of the law enforcement community.”
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