Colorado Springs school apologizes for assignment which many say was racist and inappropriate

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COLORADO SPRINGS — A Colorado Springs school is apologizing after an assignment they say was supposed to highlight inclusivity, backfired.

On Tuesday, an 11th grade English teacher at James Irwin Charter School assigned students an assignment labeled the ‘N-Word’ Journal. The prompt highlighted a racial slur used against the black community to prepare students for an upcoming reading assignment.

“The reality is the assignment just really went too far for high school students,” said Rob Daugherty, Chief Executive Officer at James Irwin Charter Schools.

Daugherty said the assignment was created without the school’s permission and was immediately taken down once the school found out. He also said no students were required to finish it, but wouldn’t say if the teacher faced any repercussions.

“I can tell you the teacher’s intent was to try to create this idea of inclusivity and to include everybody, but it wasn’t the right way to do it,” Daugherty said.

Daugherty sent out a letter to parents apologizing for the assignment and said the instructor also regrets the situation. He also promised from now on future assignments will be vetted by the administration.

“The message is that we respect and we understand what is going on right now in our country and we believe that all students can and want to learn,” Daugherty added.

Next week, the school will be hosting an event at the high school gym to directly address concerns related to the assignment along with racial tensions. Daugherty is also encouraging students and parents to reach out to him for additional questions or concerns.

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