Family sues Metro Schools, teacher over 'Let's Make a Slave' assignment

Posted at 10:32 PM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 23:32:48-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Nashville family filed a lawsuit against Metro Nashville Public Schools and teacher Andrew Herman for an assignment called "Let's Make a Slave" they say caused physical and emotional harm to their child who has autism.

The assignment was given to a fourth grade class in Nashville in February. It focused on a Willie Lynch speech called "Let's Make a Slave," believed to have been delivered in the 1700s.

The lawsuit says the class consisted of white and Black students as well as the child in question who is a Black child with Autism.

Students were told to read the speech aloud and answer questions about it. They were also told to pretend they were slaves, "folding themselves under their desks and pretending to seek freedom from slavery by being mailed away in a box," according to the lawsuit.

The boy was reportedly in fear of being separating from his family and may not see his mother again. The boy's mother learned of the lesson when she found the assignment in his backpack.