A Texas school district has pulled an assignment on chivalry that prompted widespread outrage after images of the lesson circulated online.
Some parents complained about the English assignment, which included rules on how female students at Shallowater High School outside Lubbock should conduct themselves around their male classmates.
“Hear Ye, Hear Ye Ladies,” the lesson began. “The ladies … will demonstrate to the school how the code of chivalry and standards set in the medieval concept of courtly love carries over to the modern day.”
The lesson called for them to dress in “a feminine manner to please the men” and to “address all men respectfully by title, with a lowered head and curtsy.” It instructed them to “never criticize a male,” “initiate a conversation” or “whine.” It directed them to “walk behind men or walk daintily, as if their feet were bound.” And they were told to cook, clean and “obey any reasonable request of a male. If not sure if it is considered reasonable, ladies can check with their teachers.”
Students could continue the actions at home.
“Fathers and adult males may insist on following the rules into the evening,” according to the assignment.
“Outside the classroom, ladies cannot show intellectual superiority if it would offend the men around them.”
Bonus points were offered for every adult signature proving they “were worthy of the honor by the gentlemen.”
A photo of the assignment was shared on Twitter by local journalist Brandi Addison.
“Here’s a really … interesting … assignment on chivalry,” she wrote in the tweet. The teacher’s name is redacted in the photo that accompanies the post, which has been shared hundreds of times.
Here’s a really … interesting … assignment on chivalry from @shallowaterisd. They are requiring the female students to lower their heads and curtsy for men; clean up after men; cook for and bring a drink to the men’s class. This goes on for the entire day … even at home. pic.twitter.com/i81Zr2iAva
— Brandi D. Addison Davis 🗞 (@BrandiDAddison) March 3, 2021
In a statement shared with NBC News, Shallowater Independent School District Superintendent Anita Hebert said the “assignment has been reviewed, and despite its historical context, it does not reflect our district and community values.”
“The matter has been addressed with the teacher, and the assignment was removed,” the statement said.
Colin Tynes Lain, an 18-year-old student in the English class that received the assignment, told NBC’s “TODAY” show that the boys had an accompanying assignment.
Boys were to call girls “milady” and “pay all expenses” when taking them out.
“Gentlemen will rise when a lady walks into a room. Gentlemen should bow when greeting a lady,” said the assignment, which was also shared by Addison on Twitter.
Lain said the girls’ assignment was “worded very vulgarly,” but he also defended his teacher.
“I think she was just trying to find a different way to teach us about this topic,” Lain said. “So the men in our class honestly could kind of see how it really was to be a woman in the 1300s … because this is something too important for you to just learn on paper or read from a book.”
Lain noted the teacher received criticism last year for the same lesson. He said students who did not want to participate were given permission to opt out.