A Texas school has come under fire this week after a teacher included Kyle Rittenhouse “hero for the modern age.”
Rittenhouse is the 17 year-old who is facing murder charges for killing two rioters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and wounding another on August 25 during ongoing protests. His lawyer is arguing that Rittenhouse, who is being tried as an adult, acted in self defense.
A teacher at W.T. White High School in Dallas included Rittenhouse in a list of individuals for a writing project about a “hero for the modern age,” according to Newsweek. The others on the list were civil rights campaigner Malcolm X, anti-colonial protester Mahatma Gandhi, and César Chávez, the Latino American civil rights activist.
Rounding out the list were George Floyd, who died in police custody back in May, and Joseph Rosenbaum, one of the two protesters Rittenhouse is accused of killing.
In part one of the assignment, students were asked to write a half-page biography of one of the six men. Part two then asked them to write a page-long essay on which of the individuals “demonstrates best your concept of a hero.”
The backlash against the assignment was immediate, with many saying it was “appalling and unacceptable.” A spokesperson for the Dallas Independent School District has since responded to the backlash.
“An unapproved assignment posted in Google Classroom yesterday has been brought to our attention,” the spokesman said. “Understandably, this caused some concern for the impacted students, and we apologize. Campus administration immediately removed the unapproved content and students are not required to complete that assignment.”
“Due to personnel policies, we are not able to comment further, however, the appropriate steps are being followed pending investigation,” the spokesman continued. “Racial equity is a top priority in Dallas ISD, and we remain committed to providing a robust teaching environment where all students can learn. It is important that we continue to be culturally sensitive to our diverse populations and provide a space of respect and value.”