Shall we turn our backs on lessons from the past?
Shall we ignore the warnings of history because they’re uncomfortable?
Shall we pretend that slavery never happened? Shall we deny the holocaust ever occurred? Because it’s uncomfortable?
In this, the twenty-first century, there are women on this planet who are still treated like slaves, without rights or representation or legal protections.
In this, the twenty-first century, Gay, Lesbian & Transgendered people are still treated as second-class citizens, with rights granted to everyone else denied to them.
In this, the twenty-first century, a person of colour (any colour other than white) is still referred to in derogatory terms in many places in this country and around the world.
And you’re uncomfortable?
(NORFOLK, VA) —Norfolk school officials say Jessica Boyle inappropriately taught her students about slavery. Boyle auctioned of a group of African-American and mixed race students as part of a Civil War history lesson.
“I think it’s atrocious.” “Kids are going to get offended parents especially.”
When school officials found out about it, it seems they were offended as well. School Principal, Mary Wrushen, sent a letter home to parents that said in part: “THE LESSON COULD HAVE BEEN THOUGHT THROUGH MORE CAREFULLY, AS TO NOT OFFEND HER STUDENTS OR PUT THEM IN AN UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATION.”
“Why are we going back that far and putting kids up on a stage and doing a mock slavery exercise? People being sold and bought like they are animals.”
School officials would not say whether or not she’s being disciplined, only that they would follow up with her to make sure nothing like this ever happened again. Understanding slavery is part of the state’s 4th grade standard of learning. But Superintendent Dr. Richard Bentley said Ms. Boyle’s lesson was “OUTSIDE THE BOUNDARIES OF THE CURRICULUM AND APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES.”