An assignment given to students at a Texas school included a cartoon comparing police officers to slave owners and Klu Klux Klan members, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
The cartoon depicted five scenes, starting with what appeared to be a slave owner kneeling on a black man’s neck and ending with a police officer kneeling on a black man’s neck with text saying “I can’t breathe,” the Star-Telegram reported.
The cartoon also included a depiction of a member of the Ku Klux Klan kneeling on a black man’s neck.
🚨 @JoeGamaldi blasted @WylieISD Superintendent for pushing disturbing material: “I cannot begin to tell you how abhorrent & disturbing this comparison is, but what is more disturbing is that no adult within your school thought better before sending this assignment to children.” pic.twitter.com/zEZC0yPVW8
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) August 20, 2020
The assignment was given to social studies students at Cooper Junior High in the Wylie Independent School District, north of Dallas, Texas.
“In hindsight, we say that they could have picked a more balanced approach,” Wylie Independent School District spokesman Ian Halperin said.
“Editorial cartoons have a place in education, but try to present a more balanced approach as an educator.”
The cartoon was reportedly meant to teach students about political satire.
The assignment was removed after criticism, and the cartoon was not in line with the school’s curriculum, according to Halperin.
The incident is being reviewed and disciplinary action has yet to be taken.
“The last thing we want is for our young people to be scared to talk to us or confide in us,” Wylie Police Chief Anthony Henderson said.
Henderson said the cartoon harms the positive relationship between students and the police department.
The vice president of the National Fraternal Order of Police, Joe Gamaldi, called the cartoon “abhorrent and disturbing” in a letter to Superintendent David Vinson.
“We are willing to sit down with anyone and have a fact-based conversation about our profession, but divisiveness like your teachers showed does nothing to move that conversation forward,” Gamaldi said.
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