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Black Student Assigned to Play Slave in Mock Auction
School apologizes after mom complains
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2011 11:48 AM CST
An elementary school principal apologized after a teacher assigned a black student to play a slave in a mock slave auction.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – An elementary school Social Studies lesson in Ohio turned controversial last week when a black student was chosen to play a slave in a mock slave auction. Nikko Burton, 10, is one of two black students in the class; the other was assigned to play a master, the AP reports. Burton tells WBNS-10 that he wasn’t upset at first, but got mad when the students playing masters started bidding on the students playing slaves. “The masters got to touch people and do all sorts of stuff” to see if they were worth buying, he says.

“They got to look in your mouth and feel your legs and stuff and see if you're strong and stuff,” he continues. His mother complained, saying her son was humiliated, “felt degraded, … and the kids picked on him later.” The principal did apologize, but the teacher reportedly has not—even though “it was kind of mean and she should have said sorry,” Burton says. A district spokesperson says the auction is part of the state’s required curriculum, but Burton’s mother calls it “totally inappropriate; it was racist and it was degrading.”

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Mar 6, 2011 11:08 PM CST
This is an inappropriate exercise for that grade level on so many levels. Inappropriate touching among very sensitive kids at that age about their about bodies. Between Girls and Boys?? Too random with ad lib acting and verbiage. Taking away from other more important subjects like reading and math (those are boring and actual work for the teacher right?) Just basic brainwashing and programming into the PC thought of the day. All reasons why people have concluded the schools are just worthless at best and abusive at worst.
Mar 6, 2011 4:35 PM CST
Why is it, every Feb, we have "their" history shoved down our throats, yet when it come to the true history of this country, right or wrong they don't want to hear it and say it's racial.....sorry, but history goes both ways, besides, I don't see a Native American month or German American month, and no one was screwed over more the the native American.
Mar 6, 2011 2:52 PM CST
Okay, here's the drift. Two Black students, one a master, one a slave. The rest White students. Some masters, some slaves. What's the problem? They are studying history. They are getting a sense of history. At a time when the only countries that allow slavery are in Africa, this is simply someone trying to get attention. I sure wouldn't want any race other than Indian, like my grandchildren playing Indians on a play about "The Trail of Tears", however..... I think it would be silly to have White or Black playing Indians, but if the class was bi-racial and not many Indians are in the class and straws are drawn, why not.