North Carolina charter school teacher quits after “field slave” comments alleged

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In an eighth-grade class at Winterville Charter Academy during a lesson on the importance of the U.S. Constitution, parents claim the teacher asked black students to stand up, telling them if they were not there. hadn’t had the Constitution, they would be it. slaves of the fields. “

The school said it acted immediately and is working to address lingering parents’ concerns.

“Obviously, we know that’s not the way history works,” Kanisha Tillman, whose eighth grader was in the class, told CNN. “But what upset me even more – not only does she teach history and the Constitution poorly – but the fact that she personalized it and made our students stand up, lift the main, to separate themselves from the rest of the class and say that they would work for her in the fields as slaves. ”

The lesson was delivered during a Constitution Day English class on September 17, the school said. Parents in eighth grade at the school received a note from Principal Annastasia Ryan on September 24, noting that the English-language teacher involved, who has not been identified, “was supported to hand over her resignation “and would not return to campus.

Culturally relevant training would be provided to the teacher who had resigned, along with “proactive training measures” for current and future Winterville Charter Academy staff, according to the memo.

“It was also reported that two race-insensitive words were used by several children in the class without proper redirection with an inappropriate response from the educator,” the memo added, noting that the children involved in the incident had been disciplined.

Tillman told CNN that parents at Winterville Charter Academy had started discussing the racist incidents on a parents’ Facebook page, which is not operated by the school itself.

On October 5, Ryan sent a school-wide memo regarding “recent social media posts regarding Winterville Charter Academy which refer to a lesson and remarks from race-insensitive students, as well as the response of the school leadership to the situation – this includes concerns that racially-insensitive students the remarks continue. ”

“These situations concern us too. Our school culture is founded on acceptance, love and respect to serve all children and their families. The inner workings of our school are surrounded by intentional efforts to eliminate implicit biases and explicit, ”Ryan mentioned.

Tillman told CNN that the parents had hoped to resolve the lingering issues with Ryan at a pre-scheduled Oct. 6 event at the school called “Coffee with the Principal,” which was scheduled weeks in advance, but that the event was canceled.

“The school leadership team acted immediately after learning a race-insensitive lesson and pupil remarks, and are now working to address lingering concerns from parents that the remarks by unresponsive pupils. the breed continues, “Winterville Charter Academy spokeswoman Leah Nixon said in a statement to CNN Thursday. .

“While the privacy rights of students and staff prevent me from sharing specific details, what I can share is that we will not tolerate racism in our school community and will continue to take swift action. to resolve these issues. ”

The school accommodates 661 students from kindergarten to eighth grade, with black or African-American students making up 61% of the student body, according to the school’s website.


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