Tamika Derozen, the mother of a student at Shelurn Middle School in Virginia, says her son’s teacher asked Black students to pretend to be slaves during a history lesson on the Louisiana Purchase. The white children got to act as noblemen.
As part of the lesson, the Black kids were asked to pretend to pick cotton and dig coal.
via Huffington Post:
“He said, ‘Mom, I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to walk out of the class, but I didn’t want to get in trouble,’” Derozen told WHSV, the local ABC station.
She said the principal apologized after hearing her complaint. But the teacher later showed the children a clip from the miniseries “Roots,” which was about slavery, and said it wouldn’t make sense for white actors to play the slaves, Derozen told the station.
The school district said on its website that it was investigating and that the matter would be handled “swiftly.”
“If such behavior occurred, it is grossly inappropriate, insensitive and contradictory to the values of our school division and will not be tolerated,” the statement from Staunton City Schools superintendent Linda G. Reviea said. “At all times we expect our teachers and staff to be positive role models and demonstrate sound judgment.”
Reviea added that the district did not “condone or encourage instruction that deliberately singles out a person or group because of race and subjects them to disparagement or humiliation.”
The News Leader said school board members would not comment on the incident.
Watch what Tamika had to say about the incident below.