A school in Birmingham, Michigan is receiving considerable backlash after one of its teachers handed out an assignment to her students that compared former Democratic President Barack Obama to images of monkeys.
The assignment was handed to students in a high school biology class at Roeper School, the oldest K-12 school for gifted students in the country.
The worksheet was titled "Introduction to Primates" and it instructed the students to indicate which photos pictured primates. Among the photos were apes, monkeys, lemurs and a picture of Obama.
Watch the video below:
Many are appalled and calling for the teacher's firing.
This person said:
"This is absolutely outrageous."
"Racism has no place anywhere, and especially not in our classrooms."
"Hate is a learned behavior and this is how it festers."
"This incident must be investigated to the fullest extent and condemned by the school."
This is absolutely outrageous. Racism has no place anywhere, and especially not in our classrooms. \n\nHate is a learned behavior and this is how it festers. This incident must be investigated to the fullest extent and condemned by the school.https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/birmingham-private-school-assignment-compares-barack-obama-to-monkeys\u00a0\u2026— Haley Stevens (@Haley Stevens) 1652996638
Someone else tweeted:
"Someone created this, and someone approved it."
"They need to be fired."
Someone created this, and someone approved it. They need to be fired.\n\nBirmingham School Under Fire After Worksheet Compares Barack Obama To Monkeyshttps://michiganchronicle.com/2022/05/19/birmingham-school-under-fire-after-worksheet-compares-barack-obama-to-monkeys/\u00a0\u2026— Sandy #FlipFloridaBlue #RemoveRon #WearAMask\ud83d\ude37 (@Sandy #FlipFloridaBlue #RemoveRon #WearAMask\ud83d\ude37) 1653062676
Folks, are we sure it\u2019s 2022 and not 1922? This has got to stop. \nMichigan school assignment compares President Obama to monkeyshttps://thegrio.com/2022/05/19/michigan-school-monkey-assignment-obama/\u00a0\u2026— Donna Brazile (@Donna Brazile) 1652992222
That this was presented to students in the classroom right here at home, in 2022, is appalling. Racism has no place in the classroom and no place in our community.https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/birmingham-private-school-assignment-compares-barack-obama-to-monkeys.amp\u00a0\u2026— Mallory McMorrow (@Mallory McMorrow) 1652957118
Someone had anonymously sent a photo of the worksheet to local station Fox 2.
The school put out a statement that said:
"We are aware of the lesson taught and continue to review the incident."
"We are not providing additional information out of respect for the privacy of our community members."
Parents were sent a letter by the head of school, David Feldman, where he explained and apologized for the incident.
The letter read in part:
"On behalf of Roeper's School leadership, I would like to acknowledge the disturbing racial offense contained in this worksheet and sincerely regret its use and the harm it has caused."
The school said they will continue to educate and train staff on racial bias in the classroom.
Many feel that this is not enough of a resolution.
"Wowwwww.... a teacher thought this was okay."
"Then the administration tried to racistsplain it by saying the teacher obtained the assignment from a university."
"The teacher didn't see a problem with this?!?!"
"I call BS. Fire her!!"
Wowwwww.... a teacher thought this was okay. Then the administration tried to racistsplain it by saying the teacher obtained the assignment from a university. The teacher didn't see a problem with this?!?! I call BS. Fire her!!\n#racisminschools #K12https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/birmingham-private-school-assignment-compares-barack-obama-to-monkeys\u00a0\u2026— Vote: Your Life Depends On It (@Vote: Your Life Depends On It) 1653048372
Blatant racism & bigotry is prevalent in too many schools (1 is too many). The teacher should be terminated immediately. The administrators should be forced to explain why there was an environment in which the teacher was comfortable doing this.https://yhoo.it/3yN3mhT— Jimmy Malone, Liberal & Ultra-Masker (@Jimmy Malone, Liberal & Ultra-Masker) 1652989382
Michigan school assignment compares President Obama to monkeys https://news.yahoo.com/michigan-school-assignment-compares-president-125322492.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=tw&tsrc=twtr\u00a0\u2026 via @Yahoo The Roeper school should be defunded and closed, for good! The teacher should never work in the educational field EVER! It has become normal for such disrespect!— Aggie24 (@Aggie24) 1653052281
Placed on leave? One would think in a school that they could spell the word F I R E D.\n\nAssignment that depicts Barack Obama next to monkeys prompts school to place teacher on leavehttps://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/assignment-that-depicts-barack-obama-next-to-monkeys-prompts-school-to-place-teacher-on-leave/ar-AAXwNSY?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=beb5b85274e4470eb9a727931852face\u00a0\u2026— Jeff Myers (@Jeff Myers) 1653069371
Amid a new wave of criticism toward teaching critical race theory in schools—something that isn't happening, some are saying this is exactly why such a curriculum including racism awareness is needed.
One person tweeted:
"I bet if we had CRT in more schools we wouldn’t have President Obama being compared to monkeys in a Michigan classroom."
I bet if we had CRT in more schools we wouldn\u2019t have President Obama being compared to monkeys in a Michigan classroom \n\n#crt #roeperschool #racism #education— fig (@fig) 1653054395
CRT is NOT taught in ANY K-12 public school. Meanwhile, this is what IS being taught in K-12 schools for the affluent. I won\u2019t even get into the total disrespect to PBO.\n\nMichigan private school assignment compares Barack Obama to monkeyshttps://www.fox2detroit.com/news/birmingham-private-school-assignment-compares-barack-obama-to-monkeys\u00a0\u2026— GunnyJ (@GunnyJ) 1653048442
Some wondered whether there was some sort of mistake, but the school acknowledged the worksheet was found on a highly regarded university website.
The source of the worksheet remains unknown.
The teacher has since acknowledged her conduct and took responsibility for not vetting the assignment.