Dallas high school assignment sparks outrage after gunman Kyle Rittenhouse is listed as a ‘hero’

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Parents and students at a high school in Dallas are outraged after a school assignment called ‘Hero for the Modern Age’ named Kenosha gunman Kyle Rittenhouse. 

The assignment was given to seniors in an English class at W.T. White High School in Dallas, Texas, and had two parts; first asking students to write a biography for the six people listed and then asking them to write a one-page essay on which of those six people they believed best demonstrated the concept of a hero.  

Activist Malcolm X and Mahatma Gandhi were among those listed as people to chose from, alongside Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who shot and killed two Black Lives Matters protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last month.

Also on the list were George Floyd, Cesar Chavez and Joseph Rosenbaum – one of the two men Rittenhouse gunned down.  

An assignment called 'Hero for the Modern Age' named Kenosha gunman Kyle Rittenhouse and was given to seniors at W.T. White High School in Dallas, Texas

An assignment called ‘Hero for the Modern Age’ named Kenosha gunman Kyle Rittenhouse and was given to seniors at W.T. White High School in Dallas, Texas 

The assignment was given to seniors in an English class at W.T. White High School in Dallas, Texas, and had two parts; first asking students to write a biography for the six people listed and then asking them to write a one-page essay on which of those six people they believed best demonstrated the concept of a hero

The assignment was given to seniors in an English class at W.T. White High School in Dallas, Texas, and had two parts; first asking students to write a biography for the six people listed and then asking them to write a one-page essay on which of those six people they believed best demonstrated the concept of a hero

The assignment was given to seniors in an English class at W.T. White High School in Dallas, Texas, and had two parts; first asking students to write a biography for the six people listed and then asking them to write a one-page essay on which of those six people they believed best demonstrated the concept of a hero

Among the list of heroes alongside Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who shot and killed two Black Lives Matters protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last month, were activist Malcolm X and Mahatma Gandhi

Among the list of heroes alongside Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who shot and killed two Black Lives Matters protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last month, were activist Malcolm X and Mahatma Gandhi

Among the list of heroes alongside Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who shot and killed two Black Lives Matters protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last month, were activist Malcolm X and Mahatma Gandhi

Among the list of heroes alongside Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who shot and killed two Black Lives Matters protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last month, were activist Malcolm X and Mahatma Gandhi

Among those listed alongside Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who shot and killed two Black Lives Matters protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last month, were activist Malcolm X and Mahatma Gandhi

The assignment was posted on Google Classrooms with the names of Gandhi and Malcolm X misspelled. 

It sparked criticism among students and parents, with the older sister of one student in the class telling NBC Dallas she questioned the integrity of the assignment. 

Joseph Rosenbaum - one of the two men Rittenhouse gunned down - was also on the list

Joseph Rosenbaum - one of the two men Rittenhouse gunned down - was also on the list

Joseph Rosenbaum – one of the two men Rittenhouse gunned down – was also on the list

‘It was just like, ”Oh my gosh, the spelling, Oh my gosh, there are no women on here,” and then very ardently the fact that a white supremacist murderer’s name is on a list with important historical figures,’ said Kristian Hernandez. 

‘The juxtaposition of George Floyd’s name with Kyle’s name was just astounding,’ she added. ‘The value of black lives are not up for debate, and that’s what it felt like this was sort of getting at — by way of the names that were included.’

Hernandez added that her brother was in ‘disbelief’ at the assignment. 

According data from Dallas ISD for the 2019-2020 school year, the students of W.T. White High School are 81 per cent Hispanic and 10 per cent African American.

The Dallas Independent School District apologized for the assignment and said it had not been approved.

‘Racial equity is a top priority in Dallas ISD, and we remain committed to providing a robust teaching environment where all students can learn,’ the district said in a statement to CNN. ‘It is important that we continue to be culturally sensitive to our diverse populations and provide a space of respect and value.’ 

According data from Dallas ISD for the 2019-2020 school year, the students of W.T. White High School are 81 per cent Hispanic and 10 per cent African American

According data from Dallas ISD for the 2019-2020 school year, the students of W.T. White High School are 81 per cent Hispanic and 10 per cent African American

According data from Dallas ISD for the 2019-2020 school year, the students of W.T. White High School are 81 per cent Hispanic and 10 per cent African American

George Floyd's roommate of four years Alvin Manago, 55, tells DailyMail.com that Floyd would never use counterfeit money intentionally

George Floyd's roommate of four years Alvin Manago, 55, tells DailyMail.com that Floyd would never use counterfeit money intentionally

‘The juxtaposition of George Floyd’s name with Kyle’s name was just astounding,’ the sister of one student said. ‘The value of Black lives are not up for debate, and that’s what it felt like this was sort of getting at — by way of the names that were included’ 

In this August 25, 2020, photo, Kyle Rittenhouse, left, is pictured with a backwards cap, walking along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wisconsin

In this August 25, 2020, photo, Kyle Rittenhouse, left, is pictured with a backwards cap, walking along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wisconsin

In this August 25, 2020, photo, Kyle Rittenhouse, left, is pictured with a backwards cap, walking along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wisconsin 

Robyn Harris, director of news and information for Dallas ISD, said the assignment has been removed from Google Classroom and students are not required to complete it.  

The teacher who created the assignment has not been identified, but the district said it is taking the ‘appropriate steps’ moving forward.     

‘We absolutely take these incidents seriously and even though these are personal matters, we are absolutely making sure that the proper and appropriate measures are being taken,’ Harris said.

Rittenhouse faces five felony charges including first-degree murder.  He shot one of his victims five times including in the head, the criminal complaint reveals. 



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