Omar Villafranca, NBC 5 News
The parents of a third-grader say the instructions for an assignment their son is required to redo were not specific enough.
The parents of an third-grade Duncanville student say their child deserves some credit for an assignment that his teacher says did not follow instructions.
The assignment was simple: Write about a myth, legend or folktale. Eight-year-old Adarian Thomas chose to research and write about Muhammad Ali "because he's a legend."
But Adarian's teacher sent his project back home, telling the third-grader at Hyman Elementary in Duncanville that he got the assignment wrong and didn't follow directions. She mentioned that the project was due the next day and that he would be docked 10 points.
But Tracy Thomas, Adarian's mother, says the directions weren't specific enough.
"She told me they didn't follow directions -- it's supposed to be mythical legend," Thomas said. "I said, 'You didn't put that on the paper. You put "myth, legend or folktale." What do you mean he isn't a legend?'"
A spokeswoman for the Duncanville Independent School District said the assignment was supposed to contain writing about a myth, legend or folklore in the fictional sense.
Spokeswoman Tammy Kuykendall also told NBC 5 that several other students didn't understand the directions and were told to redo the assignment. The students would not be getting docked on their grade for not following directions, she said.
But both of Adarian's parents said they feel that the teacher also didn't like the subject matter.
"I really don't think she liked who he wrote about," Thomas said. "It was just in the tone of her voice. You know, because I said Muhammad Ali is a legend."
Thomas said the teacher told her, "Well, he's not a legend he should be writing about."
Jeffrey Thomas, Adarian's father, said he thought it was "because of it being Islam involved, for one thing."
Kuykendall encouraged the Thomas family to speak with the principal and the teacher at the school to work through the matter.