When the School or a system of education, that’s meant to emancipate the younger generation, begins to expose the younger generations to historical hazards, what can black people do?
It is just the beginning of the new year. And blunders are already being committed against little black children. Last month we reported a school assignment that asked how many black slaves equaled one white man.
@TheGrio reports, the principal at an elementary school in Washington, D.C., has issued an apology to parents. After a history lesson called for the black 5th grade students to portray slaves. The incident happened at Lafayette Elementary School. In the middle of a lesson in social studies class about the Civil War and Reconstruction. During the lesson, one black student was reportedly asked to drink from a segregated water fountain.
Black students were also asked to read an article titled “A Nation Divided”. It was during this time that while placed in small group assignments. Some black students were asked “to play roles that are inappropriate and harmful.” Several students complained to faculty that they felt uncomfortable about playing the roles asked of them. Principal Carrie Broquard wrote a letter to parents on December 23rd, that partially stated that members of the black 5th grade student body “should not have been tasked with acting out or portraying different perspectives of enslavement and war.”
Principal Broquard released an additional statement that also read:
“At Lafayette, we believe in the importance of teaching painful history with sensitivity and social awareness. Unfortunately we fell short of those values. In a recent 5th grade lesson. We deeply regret that we did not foresee this as a potential challenge in role playing. So we could set appropriate parameters to protect students. As the leader of the Lafayette school community, I am distressed this happened and saddened our students were hurt. The voices of our students, their resilience and their compassion continue to inspire me to lead us all forward in a better way.”
As a result of the shameful incident, school staff members are now required to participate in a full day of training on equality and race. The school also plans to establish a diversity and inclusion committee. Broquard said the students who were used as slave props have been meeting with the school’s social emotional support team to “process and talk through” the incident.