A Virginia mother is outraged that her Black middle school soon was called to portray a slave during a history class skit.
The teacher apparently encouraged several Black students at Shelburne Middle School to play slaves during a history lesson last week, Tamika Derozen, the child’s mother said. Her son is a sixth grader at the school in Staunton, Va.
“He 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 of her son.
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Several Black students apparently refused the request to pretend to pick cotton. As for the white students, they were asked to play noblemen.
When the New York Daily News reached out to the Staunton City Schools administration for comment, Superintendent Linda Reviea released a statement saying an investigation was underway.
“If such behavior occurred, it is grossly inappropriate, insensitive and contradictory to the values of our school division and will not be tolerated,” she said in the statement. “At all times we expect our teachers and staff to be positive role models and demonstrate sound judgment.”
Derozen is in touch with her local NAACP chapter.