Utah educators have nixed online curriculum used by high school students across the state that claimed, "most slaves were generally treated kindly" in the U.S. and had "reasonable living conditions and hours of service."
"Many slaves worked so closely with their masters that they were treated as family," the curriculum states, suggesting that slaves had nice housing and "were considered property so it was not in the best interest of a slaveholder to treat a slave poorly."
"There are also pictures of those who were whipped and beaten, which come on the page after saying they were treated 'kindly,'" the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Northland Learning Center, a source of course packets for high schoolers who need to make up credits, had been using the U.S. history curriculum for "a while." The center is now rewriting the section of curriculum about the Civil War in response to complaints from parents.
One parent of a Black child said she was "crushed" after learning about the curriculum.
Emma Houston, a diversity official at the University of Utah, said: "The fact of the matter is that Africans were brought to this country in shackles and chains and forced to do manual labor. They were born into slavery and died in slavery. I am just beyond words that anyone would call that 'kind.'"
Alison D. Bond, the CEO of Northland Learning Center, issued a statement calling it "difficult to address" slavery — "especially through an independent study packet versus classroom discussion.""But we see how this section can be improved," Bond said.
Read the curriculum below.