Teacher Suspended For Staging “Mock Slave Auction”

(NationalUSNews.com) — Parents in Southborough, Massachusetts, are furious about a fifth-grade teacher’s history lesson regarding slavery, which included a mock slave auction involving several students.

School officials for the Northborough and Southborough school district have placed the history teacher on administrative leave, which could result in the teacher’s permanent termination. The mock slave auction isn’t the first time the teacher has done something controversial regarding race; in April, the teacher allegedly used a racist slur while reading a non-required book to students.

While school officials have placed the teacher on administrative leave, they haven’t released any information to confirm the teacher’s identity. According to school officials, the teacher held the mock slave auction in January and demanded that several students of color stand up and participate. Once the students stood up, the teacher allegedly had other students talk about their physical attributes and evaluate them as if they were enslaved.

Following the two incidents, students told their parents about the teacher and the controversial lessons. The unidentified teacher attempted to justify the mock slave auction by claiming it related to the economy of the Southern colonies during early American history and was thus historically significant. Despite the teacher’s justifications for holding the mock slave auction, parents quickly reported the instructor to the school district superintendent, Gregory Martineau.

Martineau contacted parents via letter following the incident, sharing details about the various incidents and reassuring them that the teacher’s lesson plans didn’t align with the school district’s. According to Martineau, parents attempted to meet with the teacher following the mock slave auction. Following the meeting, the teacher allegedly called a student who reported the bizarre lesson a racial slur as a response. Martineau said that the teacher’s behavior was unacceptable and that school officials are investigating the teacher to determine if termination is warranted.

While the Massachusetts teacher’s decision to host the mock slave auction immediately prompted parents to meet with school officials, it isn’t the first time an instructor has used mock slave auctions as a lesson. A similar incident occurred in 2019 when a New York teacher hosted a mock slave auction and had black students act like slaves during a history lesson. School officials fired the New York teacher shortly after the incident, prompting some to speculate that the Massachusetts teacher will face a similar punishment.

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