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Controversial class assignment on Derek Chauvin trial removed from Cedar Hill High School

Parents said a teacher allowed children to watch Derek Chauvin's trial and video of George Floyd's death without parental consent.

CEDAR HILL, Texas — A Cedar Hill High School teacher’s unapproved class assignment is at the center of controversy.

Some parents said they began complaining to Cedar Hill Independent School District administrators after learning their children were allowed to watch the Derek Chauvin murder trial, including disturbing video of George Floyd’s death as part of a freshmen classroom project. 

Families who contacted WFAA about the controversial assignment shared a letter parents wrote to the teacher. 

“It is unfathomable to me that you felt it appropriate to force my child to watch George Floyd’s murder on television in your classroom, and then move on with his day as if nothing had happened,” the letter stated.

Parents said the assignment happened without parental consent. They said the teacher instructed the students not to discuss what they witnessed during the trial with family for six weeks. 

The teacher allegedly provided parents a breakdown of the class assignment, after they began complaining. The notice said students would be acting as jurors in the trial. 

“They may not text discuss what they hear with friends, siblings, or relatives – not even the family dog,” the memo continued.

Parents fired back.

“This murder seen by millions around the globe was triggering and traumatizing for adults. Yet, you left students to handle their own emotions and mental health as they left your class, without proper and professional support,” the letter from the parent explained.

The school’s principal, Jason Miller, allegedly issued a notice to parents, which they shared. 

“I don’t feel that viewing and discussing this case in school is age-appropriate for scholars,” Miller wrote.

Cedar Hill also issued a statement on Friday afternoon.

“The assignment was not approved by campus or district administrators. The matter has been addressed with the teacher, and the assignment was removed,” according to Cedar Hill ISD.

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