DALLAS — Dallas ISD has apologized after a man accused of shooting and killing two protesters in Wisconsin was listed as an option for a "hero for the modern age" essay for high school students. The assignment has since been removed, the district said.
A teacher at W.T. White High School in Northwest Dallas asked students to select from a list of potential heroes and write an essay on them. Kyle Rittenhouse made the list.
The 17-year old is accused of shooting two people in Kenosha, during protests over the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake.
During the third night of those protests, Rittenhouse, a white teen who was armed with a semi-automatic rifle, was caught on cellphone video as he walked Kenosha’s streets with other armed civilians, saying he was protecting businesses from vandalism.
Defenders say the essay challenges students to use critical thinking skills.
The list of options for heroes also included Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Malcolm X, George Floyd and Joseph Rosenbaum -- one of the people Rittenhouse is accused of killing.
But Dallas ISD officials issued a statement and apologized.
The content has been removed and students aren't required to complete the assignment.
Full statement from DISD:
"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. Campus administration immediately removed the unapproved content and students are not required to complete that assignment. Due to personnel policies, we are not able to comment further, however, the appropriate steps are being followed pending investigation.
"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."