WYLIE, Texas - Wylie ISD has not determined what next steps it will take after the district apologized for an assignment that featured a cartoon that appeared to compare police with the KKK and slave owners.
The cartoon caught the attention of the National Fraternal Order of Police.
The district issued an apology and removed that assignment after 400 8th graders received the political cartoon as part of a lesson.
A national representative for police said he was disgusted over the cartoon being shown in school.
Many parents agreed, and shared their outrage on social media, while others said they think the cartoon has been taken out of context.
A political cartoon that showed the evolution of a slave owner, the KKK, and a police officer kneeling on the neck of a black man has caused controversy in Wylie ISD.
It was canceled as a lesson after it was shown to 400 8th graders at Cooper Junior High.
A substitute teacher in the district, who happens to be a mother to an 8th grader, gave some context to the cartoon by reading the assignment attached to the cartoon…
“In the midst of the protests following George Floyd’s death, some have criticized protesters for creating chaos, others say violence is instigated by outside extremist groups, and many see police initiating violence at the protests,” Tammy Perdomo read. “What is cartoon number 1 saying about U.S. history and the death of George Floyd?”
The school district said it was a social studies lesson about the First Amendment that was not part of school “curriculum resources or documents.”
An email from the school principal to parents further indicates that “teachers wanted to provide the students with current events to analyze the Bill of Rights.”
The district has been inundated with comments on Facebook calling for the firing of any and all teachers behind the lesson.
Many parents have been more vocal about that online than in front of FOX4’s camera.
FOX4 reached out to some of the people posting on social media to get their comment, but none responded.
Though some Wylie ISD parents, who did not want to go on camera, said they want the teacher fired.
The National Fraternal Order of Police calls likening officers to slave owners and the KKK abhorrent.
And Wylie ISD has apologized to its school resource officers and all law enforcement for what it calls a lesson that is divisive to its community.
But Kristyn Senters sees the cartoon as more of a commentary on historic oppression.
“This is a truth that’s uncomfortable for many. It’s a truth that’s uncomfortable for me. If you look at the depiction, the black man is always on the ground,” Senters said.
Her 8th grade son was assigned this lesson.
“This picture is depicting years of oppression, and it is showing why we protest, so, to me, it’s a conversation that we need to have. It’s an uncomfortable conversation, and not one that everyone wants to confront, but it is still a conversation that we all need to have,” she added.
“They’re not saying that it’s right or wrong. They’re not even giving their judgment on it. They’re asking the kids to think critically. That’s what we want our kids to do. We want them to be critical thinkers. That’s the job of these teacher,” Perdomo said.
Perdomo believes the political cartoon has been taken out of context.
A spokesperson for the district said there have been no developments in moving forward with firing any teachers because of the lesson.
“This assumption that these teachers were pushing this political agenda and anti-police message, I think that’s ridiculous,” Perdomo added. “I don’t believe at all that that’s what these teachers were doing.”
The school district has not provided FOX4 directly with the full lesson.
That information has come from parents and police.