HAMILTON, Ohio – Parents are raising issues with homework for middle schoolers in Hamilton City Schools that many think paints police in a bad light and skews the debate about police brutality.
The assignment, titled “Vocabulary – Police Brutality Day 4,” was handed out to students at Wilson Middle School and included several new words for students to learn: brutality, merely prosecuted, excessive and minority, NBC 4 reports.
According to the assignment, “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; these cases rarely make it to court and the officers are acquitted of any crime,” it reads.
The assignment also offered the author’s, presumably the teacher’s, commentary on their distorted perception of police brutality.
“I don’t understand how some people can use such excessive force against another person; that person has to have a lot of anger built up,” the assignment read. “I have always tried to be aware of racism; every day, I merely try to be a good person and do the best I can to be fair and open minded.”
Concerned parents discussed the assignment on Facebook, flagging the attention of local news outlets and district superintendent Tony Orr, who told KFOR the teacher was attempting to engage students in “critical thinking” about current events.
Orr then rambled on with a politically correct statement about assignment development and other issues that have little relevance to parents’ concerns about how police brutality was portrayed by the teacher.
“We have a teacher who is given a topic, and we will continue to work will all our teachers to make sure that that yes, we want a higher level thinking – we want our kids to read and write critically, but in doing that we also need to develop our lesson plans accordingly,” he said.
“I would say all school systems try to review lesson plans that teachers submit, but there’s also some spontaneity in learning, so we have to trust our teachers.”
KFOR reports the superintendent refused to discuss whether the teacher was at fault with the assignment, or what if any disciplinary action the teacher might face. Orr would only confirm the teacher is still employed.
He said he’s sure she learned a “lesson.”
Parents who commented online suggest the most recent assignment was part of a broader campaign by the teacher to educate her impressionable students about police brutality, and they’re clearly not satisfied with the district’s non-response to their concerns.
“READ THIS,” Tina Gibby posted to Facebook with a picture of the assignment. “This is NOT a joke or a forward FB lie! A school in Hamilton is giving this as class room assignment to 7th graders … Not just this but more assignments on the same topic!”
“Yikes!” Angela Guenther replied. “I would be having a fit!”
“My guess is the school board and principal have no idea this teacher is doing this,” Kevin Singleton wrote.
“They will by morning,” Gibby posted.