Teachers at Whitney High School in Cerritos, California, taught students about the slave trade by taping their wrists and forcing them to lie down in a dark room.
What is the right way to teach kids about the American slave trade? And when should a parent have a say?
For one mother of three, this question is at the center of an ongoing conflict she says she is having with administrators at Whitney High School in Cerritos, California. Shardé Carrington, 31, posted a Facebook message Monday to open up a dialogue about a disturbing history lesson she says was being taught to her son’s eighth-grade class.
According toCarrington, a teacher sent an email on Sept. 5 with the subject heading “Unique Learning Experience” to inform parents of an upcoming exercise that would supposedly expose students to the horrors of slavery. The lesson would involve the teachers acting as “slave ship captains” and students as slaves.
“Specifically, when class starts,” the email reads, “we will sternly tell them to line up outside the classroom, use masking tape to ‘tie’ their wrists together, make them lay on the ground inside the room (which will be dark) shoulder to shoulder with each other (boys and girls are in separate rows), and then while they lay there, have them watch a clip from ‘Roots.’”