oh-myyy-ribbon

An elementary school in Virginia is seeing several staff members go through re-training after an incident where students were asked to participate in "runaway slave games."

Third, fourth and fifth grade students were being taught about slavery during Black History Month.


Like many curriculums, Madison Trust Elementary encourages lessons that get the kids moving, communicating and working as a team.

Teachers decided the best way to do that during Black History Month was to split gym classes into groups and pretend to be slaves overcoming physical obstacles on the underground railroad. They were asked to do things like move through hula hoops and scooter around without touching the floor.

The lesson drew immediate criticism from parents, particularly since the school is predominantly white. Local NAACP chapter president Michelle Thomas received several complaints and spoke to the media about one child in particular.

"Obviously, if he's the only one that's black, he's the only one that could have ever been related to someone who used to be a slave, and imagine him carrying that stigma all through school."

Thomas also went on to explain that her chapter, and most other NAACP chapters, get heaps of complaints every year about schools asking children to take on roles like slave and slave owner during lessons on slavery. Ms. Thomas would like to stress, once again, that this is not appropriate as slavery was never a choice or a game and should not be taken so lightly.

The school agrees and has taken a proactive role in rectifying the situation. Not only was the lesson scrapped, it was re-framed and re-taught entirely.

Students who got the initial lesson were then talked to. Administrators and teachers explained that adults can make mistakes, too - and that they did by treating slavery as a fun game.

The Principal sent out a letter that read, in part:

"This is contradictory to our overall goals of empathy, affirmation, and creating a culturally responsive learning environment for all. The lesson was culturally insensitive to our students and families. I extend my sincerest apology to our students and school community."

And a spokesperson for the county told media outlets:

"The lesson was retaught and the mistakes with the original lesson discussed with students. As adults, we feel it is proper to model conduct and accept responsibility when a mistake is made."

Twitter is pretty fired up over the incident.










Educator Jamie Gerding was inspired to share an impromptu 10-tweet lesson on how slavery is taught in schools and it's terrifyingly eye-opening.











Did the teachers go too far? Should they be fired? Is the whole thing one big misunderstanding?

Or is this exactly what people of color mean when they talk about systemic racism and White privilege.

Disciplining children in a way that will make them reflect on their behavior without taking it too far is definitely a difficult line to walk. Some parents have apparently had to get rather creative to get the point across.

Keep reading... Show less

It's next to impossible to get through life without regrets. Whether it was a missed opportunity to ask someone out or missing a chance to say goodbye to a loved one before they walked on, missed opportunities are part of life.

We sometimes regret decisions and life choices too, but the missed opportunities always seem to hit the hardest when we look back on them.

Keep reading... Show less
CBS

Accusations of sexual harassment are serious things, and not tools for manipulating a game, but two Survivor contestants ignored that to make the game go their way.

Elizabeth Beisel and Missy Byrd voiced concerns over touching by another contestant, Dan Spilo, which now appear to have been either greatly exaggerated or completely made up to manipulate other players.

Keep reading... Show less

We all need a pick-me-up now and then. The news can be depressing and so many of us are used to hearing nothing but messages of gloom and doom from the moment we step outside.

Keep reading... Show less

Parents are everything, well good parents, parents who are destined to be parents. Some people really shouldn't be parents. That's for another time to discuss. When we are all born our parental units have such high hopes and plans.... and more often then not, the spawn will choose the adverse path. When you're children choose the adverse path, it has to be harrowing, but, a true parent finds a way, even with disappointment. But that doesn't mean you can't chat about it.

Keep reading... Show less

So flying can be a handful and a half. We can't travel with anything but our knickers anymore, well that is what it feels like. Sometimes we forget what we've packed, especially if we've packed in a hurry. It feels like the simplest of necessities is now a HUGE no-no. So once and awhile we're flagged with a thing or two that could raise a few eyebrows. (For no good reason!)

Keep reading... Show less