Parents were outraged after a fifth grade elementary class had a mock slave auction where a black student was sold to bidding white students.
Jefferson Elementary School is in hot water after a classroom had an ‘impromptu’ slave auction where a female fifth grader was put on a block and sold off to her white classmates, earlier in March.
The ‘demoralizing’ project was done to teach about the Triangular Slave Trade as the Maplewood, New Jersey, students were learning about the colonization period.
The filmed controversial auction took place around the same time another elementary school in the South Orange-Maplewood School District came under fire for having students create slave auction and runaway slave posters.
The posters were displayed in hallways and students wrote descriptions for the types of slaves they were selling and listed cash rewards for capturing missing slaves.
Parent Tracey Jarmon-Woods, whose son attends Jefferson Elementary, told WABC: ‘I was heartbroken, I had a knot in my stomach.
‘When we’re dealing with the Holocaust we would never put Jewish kids in two lines and say you go to the left, you go to the right as an assignment.’
She added to CBS New York: ‘If you’re demoralized — sold on a block in 2017 — it may affect you the rest of your life.’
Jefferson Elementary said the incident took place while a substitute was in charge of the classroom while the regular teacher was out for a medical procedure.
A statement released by the school said: ‘The activity was not part of the curriculum, not part of the teacher’s assignment, not condoned by the classroom teacher, and not authorized by the district.’
Around the same time that the slave auction took place, less than two miles away, South Mountain Elementary also had a controversial teaching style when students were asked to make slave auction posters.
One poster listed the names of available slaves, who included 12-year-old Anne, described as ‘a fine housegirl’.
Another poster read: ‘All slaves raised on the plantation of John Carter,’ and specifies that only cash is accepted.’
Superintendent John Ramos said in a note to parents that the project at South Mountain Elementary School is part of a larger Colonial America unit that’s been used for ten years.
Written by Cheyenne Roundtree and published by The Daily Mail ~ March 21, 2017.
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