An elementary school teacher in Selma, Ala., is under scrutiny after having students research and re-enact the death of unarmed Ferguson, Mo., teen Michael Brown, the Selma Times-Journal reports. The unidentified teacher was placed on administrative leave on Wednesday after a Facebook post by an angry parent blasted the lesson.
According to the Times-Journal, Jessica Baughn, whose son is a sixth-grader at Brantley Elementary, posted to the Sound of Selma page on Facebook on Tuesday, decrying the actions of the teacher. According to Baughn, white students were made to play the police officer.
“I am absolutely shocked by what my 6th grade child come home telling me that happened in school [Brantley Elementary]. His teacher made them reenact the two current shooting of the young black male’s … The white students had to play the police officer. She even has them get on the internet and research how many times the young man was shot where he was shot at,” Baughn wrote.
“That is absurd to me then you turn around and make them reenact every bit of it including the shooting … Then sit in class and tells them our black children can not walk in their own neighborhood without white people shooting them and she hated to sound racist but whatever. … Sounds like someone’s racist to me, and to me they are teaching these children to hate one another when we’re supposed to be teaching them to love one another … ”
“I don’t think that it needs to be talked about at school at all, let alone re-enacted,” Baughn told the Times-Journal. “It scares me as a parent, because any one of those children could have picked up their aunt, uncle, grandma or whoever’s gun and pointed it at another child, and it went off accidentally.”
Baughn added, in the comments section of her post, that her son was “upset about [the lesson] and what his classmates think about him.”
According to the news site, the teacher was apparently teaching students about current events when Brown’s shooting came up, Dallas County Schools Superintendent of Education Don Willingham confirmed. He added that he did speak with the school’s principal, the teacher, and Baughn and her son.
“We wish the conversation didn’t have to take place, but it’s been reported to us and we’re addressing it as quick as we can,” Willingham told the news site.
Brantley Principal Audrey Larkin Strong told the news site, “Brantley’s culture does not support division,” Strong said. “We do recognize diversity, but we do not support division. Our culture is a strong culture.”