News Flash: Hosting a class room “slave auction” is NEVER a good idea!! I wrote about this a few weeks ago, when a teacher at a school in Ohio decided to have the children in her class role play as slaves and slave owners/traders. It was a bad idea then, when students were chosen randomly to be designated “slaves” and “masters”. I felt it would have been a bad idea even if all of the students in the class had been white, because turning such a horror into a fun classroom activity totally dismisses the seriousness of the issue of slavery.
Now, a teacher in Virginia has decided that a classroom slave auction is a good lesson plan for her fourth graders. And, she took the exercise a step further by assigning roles to students based on their race.
On April 1st, Jessica Boyle separated students in her class and put the black and mixed race students up for sale, according to WVEC News, apparently in a well intentioned, but ill-advised attempt to demonstrate the injustices of the slave era Mary B. Wrushen, Principal of Sewells Point Elementary School, sent a letter home to parents on April 6 following the incident, saying: “Although her actions were well intended to meet the instructional objectives, the activity presented was inappropriate for the students. “The lesson could have been thought through more carefully, as to not offend her students or put them in an uncomfortable situation,” she added. SOURCE
Of course, the teacher’s blatant disregard for the feelings of her students AND for the historical reality of chattel slavery and its horrors is described as “well intended” by the school principal. Frankly, I do not buy that crap.
You did not mean well! You decided that you wanted to pretend to not know the ramifications of your actions, that it was all a “misunderstanding”. Well, tell me, how many times do incidents like this one have to happen before white folks get it through their thick skulls that IS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!?
Was the teacher that utterly clueless that she did not hear about the controversies surrounding this sort of role play activity in other schools?? Or did she deliberately ignore the fact that her activity was inappropriate and offensive in order to make some sort of point?
It seems to me like this teacher decided that she JUST DID NOT CARE that this lesson plan was offensive. Maybe she even set this in motion so that she could play the victim…. act as if she was just the well intentioned white person falling prey to political correctness.
Because, of course, that is how the story plays out among most white folks. They decide to totally ignore the fact that for years, Black people have been very clear that this sort of activity is unacceptable. They want to cry and act put out by the idea that it is NOT COOL to perpetuate racism. They want to cry “reverse racism” whenever a white person is called out on their bullshit!
Sorry, but any teacher who thought that a slave auction was a good lesson plan just does not need to be in the classroom!