African Diaspora

School Issues Apology for Making Black 5th Grader a ‘Slave’ During Class

GAHANNA, Ohio (AP) — The mother of a black Ohio fifth grader assigned to play a slave for a social studies lesson says the school should be more sensitive.

Principal Scott Schmidt of Chapelfield Elementary in GahannaP (guh-HA’-nuh) called Aneka Burton to apologize for what happened to her son, Nikko, on Wednesday. Columbus station WBNS-TV reports Schmidt said no harm was intended.

Ten-year-old Nikko says the class was “randomly” divided into “masters” and “slaves” and that the only other black student got to be a master. Burton says her son refused to take part in a simulated slave auction and was sent back to his desk.

Burton says she appreciates the apology, but the exercise was inappropriate.

The school district said in a statement Thursday that officials acted promptly once the concern was raised.


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