Teacher at Michigan school on leave after assignment shows former President Obama with animals

A teacher at a private school in Michigan has been placed on leave over an assignment showing former President Barack Obama with monkeys and asking students to identify a primate.

The Roeper School, which has campuses in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and Birmingham, Michigan, confirmed to multiple outlets that the teacher is employed at the Birmingham campus, located approximately 20 miles northwest of Detroit and the site of the school’s middle school and upper school, according to its website.

The assignment showed students images of several animals, including monkeys, and an image of Obama, according to multiple reports. It asked “Which of the following are primates?”

The school in a statement to USA TODAY said, “On behalf of Roeper School’s leadership, we want to acknowledge the disturbing racial offense contained in an assignment with an upper school class last week.”

“The choice to use this piece of curriculum was completely inconsistent with our School’s philosophy and mission and we sincerely apologize for its use and the harm it has caused. While the teacher has taken responsibility and admits the mistake of not properly vetting the resource, we know that is not enough and she has been placed on administrative leave until further notice,” the statement continued.

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Carolyn Lett, director of diversity for the school, confirmed that the worksheet was assigned on May 11, and the school received a letter from a concerned parent the following day, The Detroit News reported. It was assigned to approximately 30 students.

The school was closed Thursday due to alleged online threats. It reopened Friday. USA TODAY has reached out to The Roeper School for additional information.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Michigan teacher gives assignment showing Barack Obama with animals

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