Mom calls school assignment racist


The mother of a 5th grader at Meadowdale Elementary School feels her son’s homework assignment was racist

Shawna Gallagher’s 11-year-old son, Blaine, was asked to write a journal entry for his social studies class explaining what it would be like to watch Native Americans slaughter colonists.

>> Read more trending news 

The assignment lays out a violent scenario. In part it explains, “several dozen colonists – men, women, and children – were slaughtered with their own guns. Many of these colonists were killed at their dinner table as they shared their meal with their ‘friends.’” 

The lesson asks the students to answer questions in the perspective of a colonist. The questions include, “Express your conflicting feelings toward the Indians.”

Blaine Gallagher is the only Native American in his class and a member of the Klamath Tribe. His mom couldn't believe her son was asked to describe what it was like to “slaughter” colonists.

“I have never seen where they ask a student who is of Native descent to write in first person as a colonist,” Gallagher said. “That was beyond unacceptable to me.”

“It was upsetting,” Blaine said. “I didn’t want to read it because it told me about slaughtering by my own people.”

The lesson was not a part of the Meadowdale Elementary social studies curriculum. Teachers can supplement the lesson plan with their own assignments, the Edmonds School District said. This homework assignment was created in 1971, which Gallagher said is clearly outdated. 

“When I asked who approved the supplemental material, they said no one,” she said.

Edmonds School District spokesperson Debbie Joyce Jakala says administrators will consider what happened to prevent the “rare” incident from happening again in the future. 

“We are embracing that it was inappropriate and want to take steps to correct that,” Jakala said. “This hopefully will not reflect on what we have been striving and working toward as a school district.”

However, Gallagher said her son’s teacher had a different response. 

“The teacher let me know she was offended by me bringing up my concerns,” she said. 

The Edmonds School District said cultural sensitivity is a top priority for staff. Jakala said supplemental lessons will be monitored closely in the future. 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

WATCH: Shirtless man steers motorcycle with bare feet on Florida freeway
WATCH: Shirtless man steers motorcycle with bare feet on Florida freeway

A Florida motorist posted a video Saturday that shows a motorcycle rider steering the bike with his feet — at full speed — on I-95.  The Jacksonville woman said the motorcycle rider passed her, even as her own car was going 60 mph. The rider didn’t have on a shirt or shoes.  >> Read more Floridoh! stories...
Shooter was provoked in deadly Walmart parking lot argument, police say
Shooter was provoked in deadly Walmart parking lot argument, police say

An argument in the parking lot of a crowded metro Atlanta Walmart got physical before it turned deadly, according to police. Snellville police and Gwinnett County’s district attorney have released new details in the Sunday night shooting that killed Fadil Delkic, 49, of Lawrenceville. Troy Hunte, 27, of Grayson, faces a charge of voluntary manslaughter...
Boy tied up at night to prevent him from eating, law enforcement officials say
Boy tied up at night to prevent him from eating, law enforcement officials say

The Sheriff’s Office in Baker County, Florida, said an observant teacher raised the alarm, leading to the arrest of two people in a case of child abuse. Deputies said a father is accused of tying a boy up at night to keep him from eating. They say his mother knew about it and didn’t intervene. According to the arrest report, the boy...
School superintendent recorded in racist rant, lawsuit says
School superintendent recorded in racist rant, lawsuit says

The superintendent of the city of Buford’s school district in metro Atlanta used racist language and spoke of wanting to kill black construction workers who had angered him, according to accusations in a race-discrimination lawsuit. >> Read more trending news  The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, includes audio...
Woman credits dog for saving her from possible abduction
Woman credits dog for saving her from possible abduction

A woman from Volusia County, Florida,  said her dog saved her life when a stranger tried to abduct her during a walk in a neighborhood. Deanna Moore said she was walking her dog, a 14-year-old golden retriever named Sandy, Friday night in a Deltona neighborhood, when she said she heard a car pull up behind her on a street but did not think anything...
More Stories