A history lesson on the Louisiana Purchase took an ugly turn last week, when a Virginia teacher reportedly casted black students as slaves in a class skit, opting to give noblemen roles to white students instead.
“Why wouldn’t she have asked for volunteers or why would she not have included any student of any race to just go up in front of the class to pretend?” Tamika Derozen, whose sixth grade son attends Shelburne Middle School, told WHSV of the incident.
After addressing the principal about her son’s report, the Staunton, Va. mom didn’t hesitate to voice her concerns further when her child returned home from school with yet another story. According to the ABC affiliate, Derozen’s son made claims that his teacher used an image from the movie Roots to justify her decision to have African-American students pick cotton and dig coal. “She still wanted to make herself right,” Derozen said. “You can’t right your wrong.”
The concerned mother has since contacted the NAACP, explaining that her son isn’t the only student who was offended by the teacher’s insensitivity.
“We were recently made aware of the incident at Shelburne Middle School and are investigating the information we received. The matter will be handled swiftly and fairly according to School Board policy,” Staunton City Schools superintendent Linda G. Reviea said in a statement.
“If such behavior occurred, it is grossly inappropriate, insensitive and contradictory to the values of our school division and will not be tolerated,” she continued. “At all times we expect our teachers and staff to be positive role models and demonstrate sound judgment.”