A very disturbing class assignment in Mehlville, Missouri landed a teacher on administrative leave recently. This event happened in an elementary school (5th grade). It was aimed at helping students set prices on things but humans are not things.
One of the questions was, “You own a plantation or farm and therefore need more workers. You begin to get involved in the slave trade industry and have slaves work on your farm. Your product to trade is slaves. Set your price for a slave. These could be worth a lot.”
From ABC 7:
A class assignment landed a Missouri teacher on administrative leave and has the NAACP calling for a formal apology.
The students set prices for 12 different things: lumber, tar, wool, milk, etc. However, the last item the students were asked to set a price for was quite different from the first 11.
More from KMOV4:
One mother, Angela Walker, said she was shocked to find this among the school work in her son’s folder. As the mother of a biracial child, Walker hopes the teacher and school district will learn from this.
“We have to be more culturally sensitive. We can say get over a homework assignment. It’s just a homework assignment. That was 100 years ago,” Walker said. “It was but it’s still someone else’s family. Maybe there are people who don’t see the wrong in it but we need to be talking about it.”
“The assignment was culturally insensitive. The teacher has expressed significant remorse. The school district is continuing to investigate this event. I am working with district leadership to provide all Blades teachers and staff with professional development on cultural bias in the near future.” -Principal Jeremy Booker.
I’m glad the Principle made things right. The Superintendant also had a few things to say as well. Thankfully this is being taken seriously and not brushed off.
“Racism of any kind, even inadvertently stemming from cultural bias, is wrong and is not who we aspire to be as a school district. I am sorry and disappointed that this happened in our school. There is no quick fix for cultural bias. We will be devoting significant time and resources to train our staff on issues related to cultural competency, implicit bias and equity,”-Superintendent Chris Gaines.
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