A history teacher who works at a middle school in Virginia has been reprimanded after an incident, which involved racial discrimination against black students.
According to a Monday report by WHSV-TV3, a local television news source in Staunton, Virginia, Tamika Derozen, the mother of a sixth-grade black boy at Shelburne Middle School got very upset when she learned that black students in her son’s class were instructed to play slaves for a skit about the Louisiana Purchase.
Derozen told WHSV that her son told her black students in his classed were asked to come in front of the classroom and “pick cotton” and “dig for coal” during a skit for a history lesson. A number of the black students in the class refused to follow the teacher’s highly questionable instructions, however.
“[My son said], ‘Mom, I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to walk out of the class, but I didn’t want to get in trouble,'” Derozen said in her interview with WHSV. “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 and play pretend?” Derozen continued.
When Derozen reported her son’s teacher to Shelburne’s principal, the school agreed with her position and pursued disciplinary action against the teacher who made black students play slaves in the classroom skit. Derozen also told WHSV that the principal issued her an apology and explained the administrative action taken against the teacher.
“The principal apologized. She explained to me that she told the teacher you can’t single out a group of children based on their race,” Derozen also said.
Following this incident, Staunton City Schools Superintendent Linda Reviea released the following statement to the media and public, which outlined her school district’s policy on racial discrimination against students:
“We were just 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 with School Board policy.
“If such behavior occurred, it is grossly inappropriate, insensitive and contradictory to the values of our school division and will not be tolerated. At all times we expect our teachers and staff to be positive role models and demonstrate sound judgment.
“I want to emphasize that in no way does Staunton City Schools condone or encourage instruction that deliberately singles out a person or group because of race and subjects them to disparagement or humiliation.”
Incidents like these are causing a rising number of black parents to take their children out public schools to begin homeschooling them.