Michigan school assignment compares President Obama to monkeys

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The Roeper School released a statement to Fox 2 on Tuesday saying it was reviewing the circumstances of the incident.

A school for gifted students in Birmingham, Michigan has come under fire after a teacher handed in an assignment that featured photos of primates next to a photo of former President Barack Obama.

The Roeper School educator – which describes itself on its website as “the oldest K-12 school for the gifted in the nation” – handed in the assignment earlier this month in a biology class at the high school, according to Fox 2 in Detroit.

A teacher at a school in Birmingham, Michigan, handed in an assignment that featured photos of primates next to a photo of former President Barack Obama. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

The worksheet asked students to go through pictures of various animals and select which ones were primates. One of those options was Obama, according to images circulating on social media.

The Roeper School released a statement to Fox 2 on Tuesday saying it was aware of the mission and is currently reviewing its situation.

The station said it obtained a letter sent to parents in which the school claimed the worksheet was taken from a university website and acknowledged that it was racist and harmful..

Some social media users called out Roeper School officials, saying the teacher needed to know what was going on.

“You don’t notice a typo, and then you don’t notice Barack Obama’s face next to a bunch of monkeys,” one user said. “The teacher knew.”

The school reportedly declined to provide further information to protect the privacy of members of its community, according to Fox 2. It offers counseling services to students and said it will continue to provide staff training aimed at fighting against racial bias on campus, according to the outlet.

The Roeper School, whose tuition is about $30,000 a year, says on its website that 31% of faculty and students are people of color.

A diversity statement on the school’s online homepage reads: “Justice demands that we respect the dignity and worth of every individual by providing equal opportunity to those to whom opportunities have historically been refused. At Roeper, we believe that our cooperative community respects and embraces diversity, thus emphasizing the relationship between the individual and the community.

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