You have to wonder what's going through some teachers' heads when they create new assignments.
Surely the subject matter and delivery make sense to them, but in reality? Their intentions don't always come across.
Take the teacher in Texas, for instance, who recently gave her students a "Chivalry" assignment. Undoubtedly, this was to give the students a chance to experience a different time period, but what was asked of the students doesn't exactly fit in 2021.
Shallowater High School in Lubbock County decided to have a "Chivalry Day" at their high school, and one student came home and surprised their mother, Brandi D. Addison, with their assignment for the day.
On Chivalry Day, most notably female students had to perform and complete tasks that would "please" and "serve" their male counterparts, including male students, male teachers and other officials, and even the males that they live with. The students were expected to perform as a part of Chivalry Day at the school and at home.
Here are a few of the highlights from the female students' assignment:
"Ladies must dress in a feminine manner to please the men."
"Ladies must never criticize a male."
"Ladies must walk behind men or walk daintily, as if their feet were bound."
The male students had their assignment, too, though it wasn't quite as extreme:
"Gentlemen will assist ladies to seat themselves or rise from their seats."
"Gentlemen will rise when a lady walks into the room. Gentlemen should bow when greeting a lady."
"There will be no complaining on the part of the gentlemen."
An image of the assignment was originally shared in a private parenting Facebook group, where parents pushed back on the requirements of the assignment.
Once the assignment was shared on Twitter, the critiques came pouring in.
@BrandiDAddison @shallowaterisd The teacher confused myisogyny with chivalry, an ideal for knights during the midd… https://t.co/B978HOQYFB— Angel Macas (@Angel Macas) 1614926318.0
@BrandiDAddison @shallowaterisd Furthermore, this assignment should've only been confined in a classroom only. Not… https://t.co/FWj9qfOL6U— Randy Haas (@Randy Haas) 1614962169.0
After a series of complaints about sexism, misogyny and "chivalry," the school decided to cancel their "Chivalry Day" and the accompanying requirements.
Shallowater High School also issued a statement about the pushback:
"This assignment has been reviewed, and despite its historical context, it does not reflect our district and community values."
"The matter has been addressed with the teacher, and the assignment was removed."
Though the teacher probably had good intentions about immersing their students in a medieval experience, there are surely other ways the students could have an empathetic experience.