Parents angered after Pennsylvania teacher asks students unsettling slavery question

MOON TOWNSHIP, PA — An eighth grade Moon Area Middle School teacher asked students the following question: “Would you rather have been a well taken care of slave or risked everything for the chance of freedom?”

“They were insensitive, tone-deaf to that situations that were going on in the world now,” one parent told Channel 11. “And when I went and read it myself, I was baffled. I was like, ‘Is this teacher really asking you to pick what slave you’d rather be?’”

“I would question that teacher’s ability to be teaching history, especially to be teaching about the enslavement of African people,” said Tiyi Morris, associate professor of African American Studies at Ohio State University. “At times, there are racist ideas in textbooks, so teachers might not have control over that. But because the teacher created the question, that’s an issue that needs to be addressed.”

Moon Superintendent Barry Balaski said in a statement:

“A middle school social studies class discussion was brought to our attention last evening. After careful review, we have removed the question from the course and apologize to the students and families who were impacted by this assignment.”