I’ve never participated in a mock slave auction, but I would imagine a fourth-grade classroom isn’t the ideal place to have one—especially in 2019. Yet here we are, admonishing another teacher for contaminating their learning environment with racist bullshit.
On Thursday, a Watertown, NY, teacher was placed on administrative leave after being accused of making black students act as slaves in a mock auction.
According to WWNYTV, Nicole Dayes—mother of one of the students—described how it all went down:
“He and another African American child were put up in the middle of the class and told they were now slaves,” the mother told us in an email. “The teacher then started the ‘bidding’ by assigning prices to the Caucasian students. After the winning bid was placed, my son was then told how slaves would take the slave owners last name and what he was to call the slave owner by. Then my son and the other ‘slave’ were instructed to call the Caucasian child by ‘master’ and the child’s last name.”
Umm yeah, fuck that.
In what should come as a surprise to no one, the school district received complaints “that a fourth-grade teacher exercised poor judgment in teaching a recent lesson” and took subsequent action—which unfortunately failed to include parking a generous assortment of feet in the teacher’s ass.
“The teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending a full investigation into the matter,” the school said in a statement. The identity of the teacher hasn’t been disclosed and the school will announce further discipline—if necessary—after their investigation has concluded.
“I was taken aback, shocked actually to think that a school would actually do something like that in today’s day and age.” David Ackley, father of a 4th grader at the school, said. “If it actually happened, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous.”
“I have a grandson that’s black and if it was him that was sold as a slave, I would’ve been right to school,” Dawn Finley, a grandmother of students who attend the school, said. “I do believe that the teacher should be fired.”
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news, this debacle might sound familiar.
In March, we reported a similar situation in which—wait for it—a New York elementary school held its own series of slave auctions:
According to WPIX, Rebecca Antinozzi, a white fifth-grade social studies teacher at Chapel School in Bronxville, N.Y., reportedly organized a mock slave auction where the teacher took the black students into the hall, put “imaginary chains” on their necks and wrists and shackled their ankles before parading them in front of their white classmates who posed as wealthy slave owners playing the original version of The Price Is Right’s showcase showdown.
I don’t know what the hell is going on in New York, but much like myself, Attorney General Letitia James is completely over it.
“Every young person—regardless of race—deserves the chance to attend school free of harassment, bias, and discrimination,” she said in a statement in March. “Lessons designed to separate children on the basis of race have no place in New York classrooms, or in classrooms throughout this country.”