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A Buffalo-area school district has come under fire after a teacher asked her students to translate sentences from English to Spanish that called Mexicans “ugly,” according to reports.

Sixth-graders at Mill Middle School in the Williamsville Central district received a worksheet in Spanish class that prompted them to translate several sentences, CNN reported.

“You (friendly) are Mexican and ugly,” read one of the sentences, while another read, “You (politely) are pretty and American,” the outlet reported.

The “friendly” and “politely” referred to formal and informal ways of saying “you” in Spanish, The Buffalo News reported.

District parent Allison Wainick said that she was stunned by the assignment’s “blatant racism.”

“Can we even begin to unpack all that is wrong here? Who is developing this curriculum & where is the oversight?” she said on Twitter.

Wainick, who is Hispanic and was born in Colombia, declined to identify the teacher, The Buffalo News reported

She told the paper she raised concerns about the assignment with Principal Lori Jonas before the winter recess – but declined to say what she thought of the response.

Mill Middle School in Williamsville, New York.
Mill Middle School in Williamsville, New York.
Facebook / Mill Middle School

Wainick’s husband, Marcelo Florencio, also told the paper that he was “extremely disappointed with Mill Middle for letting the disgusting and inexcusable language such as this to be presented in the classroom.

“I believe there is no place for it in school or our children’s lives,” said Florencio, a native of Latin America whose kids are multi-ethnic.

“I, personally, don’t feel this Spanish teacher — or anyone who approves of this kind of curriculum content — has any place in WCSD or elsewhere,” Florencio said, adding that the homework showed a “blatant lack of ethnic sensitivity and bias.”

District parent Allison Wainick was upset at the teacher who created the racist homework assignment.
District parent Allison Wainick was upset at the teacher who created the racist homework assignment.
Twitter / Allison Wainick

Wainick also posted a photo of the assignment on the private Facebook page of the Williamsville Parent Education Connection and asked, “Is this a typical Spanish homework assignment in WCSD these days?”

Other parents expressed their dismay.

“I am absolutely disgusted that this was handed out and I am so sorry for any student who received it,” said one parent, according to screengrabs of the page shared with The Buffalo News.

Mill Middle School in Williamsville, New York.
Former students claim to have reported alleged offensive behavior from teachers at Mill Middle School.
Facebook / Mill Middle School

The district responded to the outcry on its official Facebook page.

“This assignment created by the teacher and provided to students was unacceptable,” it said.

“We are addressing the situation to ensure this does not happen again. The District does not condone any instructional material that denigrates our students, families, culture, or beliefs,” the statement said.

An Upstate New York school district has come under fire over a homework assignment asking middle schoolers to translate the phrase 'You are Mexican and ugly' into Spanish.
The Williamsville Central district condemned the controversial homework assignment after parent backlash on Facebook.
Twitter / Allison Wainick

“Our goal as a District is to create an intentionally welcoming learning environment, celebrating our community and its diversity. This assignment fails to meet our standard and will be dealt with appropriately,” the district added.

District spokesman Nick Filipowski told The Buffalo News that officials would have no further comment, including whether the teacher is facing any discipline.

Several people who say they are parents of district students or went to Mill Middle themselves said on social media that school officials have received complaints about offensive and potentially racist behavior by teachers for years, CNN reported.

Mill Middle School in Williamsville, New York.
The Williamsville Central district promised the incident will be “dealt with appropriately.”
Facebook / Mill Middle School

“Wow. I complained about this assignment at Casey middle…3 years ago. Nothing was done,” one person reportedly wrote.

“I had several issues with a specific Spanish teacher at Mill Middle over the years,” another person wrote in a community group on Facebook for parents and teachers at Williamsville Central.

“Many calls were made and unfortunately fell on mostly deaf ears (with the exception of one amazing guidance counselor that has since retired),” the user added.

Williamsville Central School District in New York.
The Williamsville Central district has not announced any disciplinary actions on the teacher who handed out the assignment.
Facebook / Williamsville Central

Meny Marquez, a Mexican parent whose two children attend the district’s South High School, said he believes that the teacher should face disciplinary action.

“I just know that all the Latin American families in the school district are very offended,” he told CNN.

Source: NYPOST

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