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