Kannapolis School Leaders Apologize For Controversial Assignment

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Some parents are upset over a controversial history lesson taught at Kannapolis Middle School.  Some students complained to their parents about the assignment that some are now calling racist.  A parent posted it on social media.  In the assignment, students are asked to compare the values of slaves to white people.  One of the questions asked, ‘how many slaves would be needed to equal three whites in counting the population?’

Kannapolis City School leaders reached out to the parent who complained about the assignment and apologized.  WCCB Charlotte asked if the instructor was attempting to teach students about the 3/5 Compromise.  During the 1787 Constitutional Convention, a compromise was reached among the states of how slaves would be counted when determining a state’s total population.  The compromise solution was to count three out of every five slaves as people.  But, Kannapolis school leaders told WCCB Charlotte they weren’t sure what lesson it was.

They sent us this statement.

“We agree that the assignment was inappropriate and have taken steps to address the situation and assured the parent that the assignment will not be graded, and will not be counted for any student…we expect and promote racial equity in our schools and this assignment did not meet that standard or expectation at all.”

Parents we spoke with were shocked to hear about the assignment.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” says Tony New.

“How would a child answer that?  Yeah, that’s racist,” says Janae Kates.

WCCB Charlotte asked Kannapolis City School leaders about the possibility of disciplining the teacher.  They would only say they are actively addressing the matter.