A teacher from Shelburne Middle School in Stauton, Virginia, called all her black students to act as slaves during a history lesson. That was a lesson about the Louisiana Purchase.
Black six-graders, and Tamika Derozen’s son among them, were told to play slaves while white students were called to play noblemen. All the black students were asked to pretend as if they were picking cotton and digging for coal. Some of the kids refused to do it, though Tamika Derozen’s son didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to play a slave but still, didn’t want to “get in trouble.”
"Why wouldn't she of asked for volunteers or why would she not have included any student of any race to just go up in front of the class and play pretend," Derozen said.
Derozen called the school. The school principal apologized but said that the teacher’s idea was to show the slaves rebellion during that period.
That wasn’t the end of the case. The next day the teacher decided to prove her point!
She showed the kids a part of the “Roots” series and asked if it would be okay if the main characters were white and not black slaves.
"She went on to say, 'exactly my point. For those of you that I offended, I apologize. But I want you to understand my reason for calling you up as African-Americans is because you better fit the role as a slave," Derozen said in an interview with the WHSV. "She still wanted to make herself right. You can't right your wrong."
Derozen decided to go on with the teacher’s education and called the NAACP. The school’s superintendant wrote the following message ont the city’s district website:
"We were just recently made aware of the incident at Shelburne Middle School and are investigating the information we received. The matter will be handled swiftly and fairly according with School Board policy.
"If such behavior occurred, it is grossly inappropriate, insensitive and contradictory to the values of our school division and will not be tolerated. At all times we expect our teachers and staff to be positive role models and demonstrate sound judgment.
"I want to emphasize that in no way does Staunton City Schools condone or encourage instruction that deliberately singles out a person or group because of race and subjects them to disparagement or humiliation."
Since, no actions have been taken against the teacher.