It’s Black History month, so perhaps it is natural that a lot of schools are taking the time to touch on important stories dealing with said history. That being said, there are ways to go about teaching Black History (a daily reminder that it does not just include slavery, by the way), and how one Loudon County, Virginia school went about teaching it, seriously ain’t it.
According to the Loudoun Times-Mirror, the principal of Madison’s Trust Elementary School in Brambleton is now apologizing for the “insensitive physical education” activity, as Loudoun County Public Schools say that they are working to fix the culture that dredged up and allowed such a lesson.
The report notes that third, fourth and fifth graders at the school were asked during P.E. to play a game where the students worked in groups pretending to be runaway slaves, tackling an obstacle course meant to represent the Underground Railroad.
To make matters worse, a Black child in the class was designated as a slave for the “game”, Loudoun NAACP Chapter President Michelle Thomas, who said she received complaints from parents, told the news site.
“Loudoun County has a history of miseducating kids, number one, and perpetrating racist things amongst our students. This is not the first one. This is the first one of many. This is the most egregious, and the timing is incredible,” Thomas said.
Principal David Stewart sent a letter out following the incident, apologizing and emphasizing that the content will be retaught in class in a respectful and appropriate way.
“The lesson was culturally insensitive to our students and families … my sincerest apology to our students and school community,” he said in a statement according to CNN. “This is contradictory to our overall goals of empathy, affirmation and creating a culturally responsive learning environment for all.”