KANNAPOLIS — Kannapolis City Schools officials were left apologizing after an assignment was given asking middle school students to compare the value of slaves to whites.
School officials called the assignment “inappropriate.”
Parents posted the assignment on social media, causing outrage and a public apology from school officials.
“How many slaves would be needed to equal at least four white people?” one of the questions asks. “How many slaves would you have if you equaled 1 4/5 whites?”
According to WBTV in Charlotte, a student told their mother that “the history teacher told us every black person is 3/5 or some percentage of a white person.”
The social studies lesson was about the 1787 Three-Fifths Compromise. The compromise came during the Constitutional Convention as representatives tried to determine how slaves would be counted to determine representation in government and how they would be taxed.
School officials said the matter was taken to the superintendent, and they are taking measures to make sure assignments like that aren’t handed out again.
“We also are posting here on behalf of Kannapolis City Schools to say that we agree that the assignment was not appropriate,” school officials said on social media.
“We have taken steps to address it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. All of us at KMS and in Kannapolis City Schools sincerely apologize to you and all who were rightfully offended, and we’re making sure the assignment does not count toward any student’s grade.”
School officials added that the assignment does not meet with the school system’s standard or expectation.
“We expect and promote racial equity in our schools, and this assignment did not meet that standard or expectation at all,” school officials said.
“We are very sorry for that and are working to help make sure it won’t happen again. We hope you will accept our sincere apology and assurance that we are responding swiftly to correct the situation.”