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ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) – A Maryland high school teacher has been disciplined after encouraging students to “have fun” writing a slave song for an assignment as part of a lesson on abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

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Howard County Superintendent Renee Foose tells The Baltimore Sun that she put the Mount Hebron High School English teacher on leave for four days last week after learning of the incident.

Principal Andrew Cockley wrote in an email to parents Dec. 7 that the assignment was linked to a lesson on the “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.” Cockley says the activity was culturally insensitive.

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Foose apologized for the activity and called the teacher “inexperienced” and the assignment “outrageous” and offensive.

The teacher returned to the classroom Tuesday following an investigation.

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