Milwaukee teacher suspended after assignment telling students to defend KKK

Both the teacher and assignment have been removed from the charter school

Justin Carissimo
New York
Tuesday 20 December 2016 01:06 GMT
A Ku Klux Klan member salutes during an American Nazi Party rally at Valley Forge National Park September 25, 2004 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Hundreds of American Nazis from around the country were expected to attend.
A Ku Klux Klan member salutes during an American Nazi Party rally at Valley Forge National Park September 25, 2004 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Hundreds of American Nazis from around the country were expected to attend.

A teacher was suspended from a Milwaukee charter school this week while officials investigate an assignment instructing students to defend the Ku Klux Klan.

The Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee has a predominantly African-American student population in Wisconsin and parents are livid after what happened last Thursday in a seventh-grade language arts class.

"To even ask my child to write a paper like this, his mind, level of thinking, is not there yet. I don't teach him hate,” Damaris Dorsey told Fox 6 TV. “So, therefore, he does not know the in-depth of the Ku Klux Klan.”

The teacher instructed students to follow up the To Kill a Mockingbird film by writing a persuasive essay from the perspective of a lawyer defending Klan members on trial.

"The goal of this paper is not to teach students the Klan was correct in its behavior,” the assignment read, “but rather to teach the students how to write persuasively."

Still, parents aren’t buying it.

“How do you have a seventh-grade student take a side on someone that has hated our culture, our background, and our ethnicity for so many years?,” Dorsey recently asked an NBC News reporter.

"These are young students, young children,” Tory Lowe, an activist in the community, told Fox 6. “This is not law class. If it was a Jewish child, they wouldn't give him an assignment to defend Hitler.”

On Monday, school officials took the outraged parent’s side, suspending the teacher, and pulling the assignment from the classroom.

“BEAM feels that the objective of teaching students how to write persuasively is important,” the school said in a statement. “However, we feel that the choice of topic is inappropriate for a seventh-grade class. A new topic will be selected for the assignment.”

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