In an age of cancel culture, where anything can be deemed offensive and virtually erased from the public consciousness, one wonders how this assignment ever made it past the initial idea phase of one high school English teacher in Texas.
Even if this assignment (seen below, originally posted by @BrandiDAddison via Twitter) had any actual aim other than to shock and entertain, one would expect to see it in a History classroom, and not an English one. Perhaps even more surprising, the tone-deaf teacher apparently had used this assignment in at least one year previous, allowing students the option to refuse participation, if they objected to the content.
More than a class project at Shallowater High School, the “rules” contained in this assignment were to be strictly followed all day, throughout school, and even at home. Members of the opposite sex could essentially grade them on their success. Oddly enough, this assignment was designed by a female English teacher.
While male students are expected to open doors, pull out chairs, and compose themselves cleanly and respectfully, with no foul language, female students are told to “obey any reasonable request of a male” and also to dress enticingly, clean up after the boys, and bring them treats. The disparity is apparent if these students are following these rules throughout the school day: while the boys may just be seen as nice and well-behaved, the girls would undoubtedly be judged in a very different light.
After Addison posted the offending documents on Twitter the assignment was removed from the school due to public outcry, though some critics still insist, “How else will we learn about how life was like for women in the 1300’s?” I guess we should remember that next time a History class begins a unit on slavery, then?
Shallowater High School in Shallowater, Texas, serves approximately 450 students in grades 9-12. Sixty-six percent of students are white, with the remainder mostly Hispanic. It boasts a 100% 4-year graduation rate and excellent college readiness scores.
Brandi D Addison (Twitter)
Texas school scraps chivalry assignment that had girls ‘obey any reasonable request of a male’ (NBC News)
Shallowater High School (GreatSchools)