A Tennessee student-teacher was dismissed after giving fourth graders an assignment asking them to detail ways to control enslaved Africans as part of a Black History Month lesson.
According to NBC News, the unidentified student-teacher had given the assignment – based on the 1712 speech “The Making of a Slave” by enslaver William Lynch – to the students at Waverly Belmont Elementary School in Nashville.
In the document, Lynch called for the physical and psychological abuse and torture of the enslaved. After reading the document, students were asked to list out things that a plantation owner should do in order to “keep their slaves subservient.”
“A student-teacher was dismissed and asked not to return to Waverly-Belmont as a result of teaching material that was not age-appropriate or within the scope of sequence for the 4th-grade class,” Metro Nashville Public Schools said in a statement.
The teacher in charge of the class was present during the lesson and has since been placed under administrative leave pending an investigation by the school district.
“Metro Schools regrets if any students or parents were caused pain as a result of this incident. District leaders have been working with school administrators and parents to address concerns for the students involved,” the statement added.
The report notes that the student-teacher is a Black woman from Vanderbilt University, who reportedly approved the lesson. The university is now currently working with the school system to deal with the “unfortunate situation.”