Thursday, March 16, 2017

DISTRICT PROMISES BETTER SUB TRAINING IN WAKE OF MOCK SLAVE AUCTION AT JEFFERSON SCHOOL

The school district responded to Wednesday's story about a mock slave auction in a fifth-grade class at Jefferson School with a lengthy explanation that stressed the incident was not a planned assignment. 

It also supported the actions of the teacher, who was out that day and informed parents through a letter. But District Spokeswoman Suzanne Turner indicated that since a substitute teacher was involved, the district would "look again at training and improved supervisory protocols for substitutes."

See the original story HERE.

See the entire statement issued Wednesday evening from Turner below:

We note that you posted a story about this less than an hour after 
asking for a comment, on a day you know the district to be closed.

The letter from the teacher speaks for itself. The activity was not 
part of the curriculum, not part of the teacher's assignment, 
not condoned by the teacher, not authorized by the district.

The culminating assignment for the Colonial America unit in 
this teacher's class was to choose a colony to research and then 
create a PowerPoint presentation with a partner about that colony. 
 
Students submitted their plan to the teacher, signed off on by their 
parents. At no point was an enactment of a slave auction proposed 
as part of any student's plan.  The projects were due on the day that 
the teacher was out, and nothing should have been added during 
the school day.

Upon hearing about the impromptu re-enactment and video while 
she was out, the teacher proactively reached out to parents to 
inform them not only of what had happened, but also how she was 
addressing this with students. Her letter shows that she took the 
incident seriously, addressed the "impact it had upon the students,"
the "gravity of this part in our history," and connected it to a 
larger discussion about social justice. She asked for partnership 
from families in helping reinforce these messages at home as well.

Given that this happened while a substitute teacher was supervising 
the class, administrators will look again at training and improved 
supervisory protocols for substitutes.

I ask that you post this entire email, so that your readers can see 
the timeline of your request for comment, and can reflect on the 
tone of your post in the circumstances. 
 
Thank you.

Suzanne M. Turner
Director of Strategic Communications
South Orange Maplewood School District

1 comment:

BevRed0806 said...

Why did the substitute teacher felt the need to bring about a task such as "selling slaves" as part of his/her curriculum? This is DISGUSTING BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT!!! He/she should have their license revoked immediately for such stupidity.

A personal apology should have be presented to the "slave" student as well as the rest of the students, parents and faculty.

Also, it seems like Suzanne M. Turner has a "CHIP" on her shoulder...see below. (It was someone's fault and someone has to "pay the piper".)

I ask that you post this entire email, so that your readers can see 
the timeline of your request for comment, and can reflect on the 
tone of your post in the circumstances. 
 
Thank you.

Suzanne M. Turner
Director of Strategic Communications
South Orange Maplewood School District