Another Teacher Blasted for Mock Slave Auction

And this time, all the black students told to play slaves
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2011 8:14 AM CDT
A mock flyer is posted advertising the re-enactment of a mid-19th century slave auction January 15, 2011 in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Note to teachers: Perhaps it would be a good idea to skip the mock slave auctions while covering the Civil War. Parents are in an uproar after yet another elementary school engaged in such a lesson, this time in Norfolk, Virginia, on April 1. Jessica Boyle told all the black and mixed-race students in her fourth grade class to step to one side of the room, while the white students took turns "buying" them. The class is about 40% black and 40% white, the Washington Post reports.

After the complaints started coming in, the principal wrote to parents and acknowledged that, “The lesson could have been thought through more carefully, as to not offend her students or put them in an uncomfortable situation." A spokesperson adds that Boyle, who had been teaching in Norfolk for six years, had never conducted such an auction before, and that "appropriate personnel action is being taken." Click for the tale of a similar mock auction out of Ohio. (Read more slavery stories.)

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