Parent Appalled Over Essay Asking 8th Graders If They’d Rather Be Slaves Or Factory Workers


CBS Detroit
March 12, 2014

A Detroit-area mother is fuming over an essay question that asked middle school students if they would rather be slaves or factory workers.

Tina James, whose 13-year-old daughter attends Novi Middle School, told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas that she almost couldn’t believe an 8th grade American History assignment that asked students: “Which would you rather be: A slave or a factory worker during the Industrial Revolution?”

“The first thing I though was how can you even compare the two,” James said. “As far as I’m concerned, they are diametrically opposing circumstances. You have on one end, a slave that is not free, who has no free will. And on the other end, you have a factory worker and although it was in the Industrial Revolution, they still had a free choice and they had a choice to walk away if they wanted to.”

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