Story at a glance
- Kyle Rittenhouse is the suspect in a fatal shooting of protesters in Kenosha, Wis.
- His name was listed along with five others in a school assignment on heroes by a Dallas teacher.
- After outrage online, the assignment was pulled and the school district has apologized.
An English teacher at a Dallas high school is under investigation after listing Kyle Rittenhouse, the suspect in a fatal Kenosha shooting, as “a hero for the modern age.”
Kristian Hernandez told NBC 5 News her younger brother, a senior at W.T. White High School in Dallas, sent her family a screenshot of the assignment on Tuesday.
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“My brother was really in disbelief that this was actually an assignment he was getting,” Hernandez told NBC 5. “The juxtaposition of George Floyd’s name and Kyle’s name was just astounding.”
Rittenhouse is a member of a local militia group accused of fatally shooting two people and injuring a third during police demonstrations against the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. The 17-year-old has been charged with two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide, two counts of endangering safety and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.
The screenshot has since been posted in a public Facebook group called Reform Dallas, which advocates for transparency in government, and soon spread to Twitter — spelling mistakes and all (The names Mahatma Gandhi and Malcolm X were spelled wrong).
Paul Ford is an English teacher at @WTWHighSchool in #Dallas ISD This is an actual assignment – giving students an opportunity to write an essay about how #Kenosha murderer Kyle Rittenhouse is a “hero.” APPALLING AND UNACCEPTABLE. pic.twitter.com/CB7jY1A7pu
— Soraya (@sorayathepariah) September 16, 2020
The assignment lists six potential subjects, none of which are women, for a half-page biography and one-page essay on the concept of a hero.
The school’s administration removed the content from Google Classroom and students are not required to finish the assignment, according to the school district, which is investigating the incident.
“An unapproved assignment posted in Google Classroom yesterday has been brought to our attention. Understandably, this caused some concern for the impacted students, and we apologize,” the Dallas Independent School District (ISD) told CBS 11 News in a statement. “Racial equity is a top priority in Dallas ISD, and we remain committed to providing a robust teaching environment where all students can learn. It is important that we continue to be culturally sensitive to our diverse populations and provide a space of respect and value.”
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