NYC Parents Say Teacher Compared Students To Monkeys In Photo Caption
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A Long Island high school is facing criticism and concerns from parents, upset about how a teacher captured a picture of Black students from a recent class trip to the Bronx Zoo.

According to News 12 Long Island, students from Longwood High School were on a field trip for their zoology class when the photo of four Black students was captured.

The teacher turned around and captured the photo “Monkey Do,” which the parents say is insensitive to the children and “disturbing.”

“The whole picture and the caption was very upsetting because it was comparing our kids to a monkey or a gorilla, which, there is a history on this when it comes to black people – it was very disturbing,” Latisha Moye, the mother of one of the students in the photo told the news site.

The teacher also reportedly showed the photo in a slideshow, where it followed a slide showing a gorilla.

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The school said that the photo was “an unfortunate lapse of judgment” noting, in a statement, that over the past several years the unidentified teacher has taken a similar photo to use in the classroom powerpoint presentation.

“Without the intent of doing so, the photo was taken without fully understanding the sensitivity or the hurt it may have caused and reminds us that we must be more aware of the feelings of our multi-cultural population,” the statement read. “Since returning from winter break, the Superintendent and High School Administration have met with the teacher, members of the community, and the families involved. We are proud of the diversity at Longwood Schools, and we will continue to provide sensitivity training to our students and staff to raise awareness of our cultural differences.”

However, parents are not convinced and are looking for a public apology, as well as for the teacher to be suspended without pay, News 12 reports.

“When kids make mistakes, they have to deal with the consequences,” Moye noted. “He’s an adult, especially being 22 years a teacher, he should know what and what not to do, especially putting animals to a face.”