The Dallas Independent School District apologized for an assignment that asked high school students to write an essay about a "hero for the modern age," and choose someone from a list that includes Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old Antioch teen accused of killing two people during racial justice protests in Kenosha.
Rittenhouse was suggested as a "hero for the modern age" along with the possible subjects of Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Malcolm X, George Floyd and Joseph Rosenbaum — one of Rittenhouse's alleged victims, according to NBC News.
Rittenhouse was charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide for the shooting deaths of Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber during protests on Aug. 25 following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police.
The assignment asked students to write at least a half-page biography of six people. Then pick one that best demonstrates the student’s concept of a hero.
The school district said the assignment was not approved and taken down by administrators after it was posted to Google Classroom on Tuesday.
Kristian Hernandez told NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth that her younger brother, a senior at W.T. White High School, shared a screengrab of the assignment with her family.
“My brother was really in disbelief that this was actually an assignment he was getting,” she stated.
Hernandez said she reached out to her brother’s principal with her concerns.
"The juxtaposition of George Floyd's name with Kyle's name was just astounding," she said. “The value of Black lives are not up for debate, and that’s what it felt like this was sort of getting at — by way of the names that were included."
DISD said the teacher has been with the district for approximately three years. In a statement, the district apologized and said the content was not part of approved lesson plans.
“An unapproved assignment posted in Google Classroom yesterday has been brought to our attention. Understandably, this caused some concern for the impacted students, and we apologize. Campus administration immediately removed the unapproved content and students are not required to complete that assignment. Due to personnel policies, we are not able to comment further, however, the appropriate steps are being followed pending investigation."