They -can- but when it’s embodied in a graded assignment, it has the force of the entire school curriculum behind it.
It’s on paper. Written Kids respond to it. Written. They get a grade. Permanent Record.
It’s different if the teacher says it in front of class. I remember teachers – they say lots of things.
But in this format it was inappropriate. I may agree with the gist of it but it was in the wrong place. They can teach it while they’re talking, not grade them on it.
The thing is, the school population is pluralistic, encompassing many diverse backgrounds and cultures. We may laugh at cultural sensitivity issues but as someone who had a 6th grade history book that showed cavemen with blond hair, white skin and shaved faces, believe me, what shows up makes a difference.
I came home, showed my mother. She called the school the next day and she’s not the kind of mother to do that type of thing. Wrong’s wrong.
It’s directing what the kids do outside of school. It moved from a core competency within the school system and turns it into a political statement.