Swedish school asks kids to translate ‘Negro’
The Local · 22 Mar 2012, 08:17
Published: 22 Mar 2012 08:17 GMT+01:00
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“This just can’t happen. It’s a good thing that the students have reacted,” said principal Björn Blomgren to local paper Göteborgsposten (GP).
At the Streteredsskolan in Gothenburg, some ten percent of the student body has an immigrant background. Across the street from the school is located one of the Swedish Migration Board’s (Migrationsverket) refugee homes, according to GP.
Over the last two weeks, some students have been given worksheets with translation examples such as “the Negroes were eaten by the wolves” and “I don’t like the story about the Negroes”.
“These are extra assignments we have been given,” said one student to the paper, adding that it has been discussed at home whether the assignment was appropriate but not in school.
Principal Blomgren was shocked to see the contents of the worksheets.
“I have never seen this before. The words are so degrading that they should not occur. Of course it is inappropriate with the set of values we have in school. We certainly don’t use the word ‘negro’ here,” he told GP.
However, the teacher who has been handing out the worksheets told the paper that it was unfortunate if anyone had been offended.
She added that she generally brings up words that have changed over time like “gay” which can mean both “happy” and “homosexual” as well as “mouse” which can be used about both the animal and the computer device.
“The word ‘negro’ appears when you read about slavery in the US as well as about the music ‘negro spirituals’. There are many emotionally charged words out there and I explain them as and when they crop up,” she told GP.