Greetings Cosmic Americans!
Well....if you ever needed a reason not to send your children to public school in Virginia I think I may be able to help.
A friend sent me an article from the Washington Post that I thought was worth discussing here.
To briefly summarize - it seems that Jessica Boyle, a fourth-grade teacher at Sewells Point Elementary School in Norfolk, Virginia, thought it would be instructive in this climate of sesquicentennial commemoration to divide her fourth graders into groups of black and mixed race children on one side and white children on the other. From there, the white kids bid on the black kids - and there you have it: a pint-sized mock slave auction.
Hmmmmmmm..........recreated slave auctions. One in Missouri that I covered HERE actually taught a valuable lesson about the horrors of the institution. But here is the nugget - the participants were experienced in the art of living history, instrumental in the orchestration of the event, and the reenactment was supported by all involved.
Not that I have any experience at all in the parenting department, but I think it is safe to say that putting young children - without their parents knowledge, by the way - into a potentially explosive situation was...shall we say, careless and insensitive.
We all know how sticky things can get in terms of race in the Old Dominion. And dividing a class along racial lines letting the white kids buy their black classmates is about as asinine as you can get. In other words....you have got to be freakin' shitting me on this one. Perhaps Virginia's (home of Confederate History Month) standards are low when it comes to hiring teachers for the public education system. Who knows. But I'll tell you what friends, if you are one of these teachers and are reading this - try something on for size....the next time you are planning a lesson on slavery, think it through a little. Sheesh.