The investigation began after the assignment on Feb. 1 presented sixth-grade students at Patrick Marsh Middle School [in Madison, Wisconsin] with the following scenario: “A slave stands before you. This slave has disrespected his master by telling him, ‘You are not my master!’ How will you punish this slave?”
The report said the assignment also “included other offensive questions.”
Please don’t ask students to imagine themselves in the role of slavemasters. Also — do I need to say this? — don’t ask them to role play being a Nazi concentration camp guard. It’s asking them to empathize, even temporarily, with horrible human beings.