Monday, March 20, 2017


It appears that video of the controversial mock slave auction held by students at Jefferson School, and revealed last week in a note home from their teacher, has prompted a further explanation from the school's principal to all school parents.

The principal sent a note to parents of all students in the school Monday, which also offered concern that some of the students treated the issue "lightly" and even in a "jovial" manner. 

The note stated in part:

When we had the opportunity to view the full video last week, we were concerned to see how lightly students treated the topic. The jovial nature of the video suggests that either there is a lack of understanding about the true barbarity of a slave auction, or a lack of awareness of how treating this topic comically is offensive. As ------- explained in her earlier letter, she has already used this as a teachable moment to reinforce the gravity of this part of our history and the importance of social justice and acting as responsible members of our school community. 

We believe that additional work remains to help our students consider how their actions can have a negative impact on others, even if unintended, how joking about slavery is disrespectful to all Americans, especially to the African American community, and that certain matters should be treated with a degree of heightened sensitivity. 

Editor's Note: We have chosen to remove our link to the entire letter and the names of administrators involved out of concern for possible backlash against them.

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