A teacher has sparked controversy by telling her black students that if it were not for the Constitution, they would be ‘her field slaves’.
A parent named Kanisha Tillman, who has a son that attends Winterville Charter Academy in North Carolina, has detailed an incident involving a teacher and her black students in the eighth grade. According to Tillman, the unnamed teacher was teaching a lesson on the Constitution when she made ‘racist’ comments.
‘She had them raise their hand during a constitutional lesson and reminded them that if it wasn’t for the Constitution, they would be her slaves,’ Tillman told WITN. ‘Her field slaves.’
In a memo sent to parents by the school’s principal, Annastasia Ryan, parents were told of the ‘racially insensitive lesson’. According to Ryan, the lesson in question was being given on Constitution Day, September 17.
‘The teacher was supported in turning in her resignation and will not be returning on campus,’ Ryan detailed in the memo. ‘Culturally sensitive training for the teacher that resigned will be provided, along with proactive training measures for our current and future staff members.’
While this incident has shocked parents of students, it is also apparently no the first time the teacher has made racially insensitive comments to black students and in the past her comments have even lead to bullying.
‘These situations concern us, too,’ Ryan declared. ‘Our school culture is built on one of acceptance, love and respect to serve all children and their families. The inner workings of our school are surrounded by intentional effort to eliminate implicit and explicit bias.’
Tillman told the Associated Press about another incident where the teacher apparently told a white student that it apparently was ‘ok’ to be racist.
‘A white student had called a black student a monkey,’ Tillman said. ‘When the black student educated him on that being racist and him not liking it and not to call him that and asked the teacher for support, the teacher turned around and said to him, ‘Oh, it OK. We’re all a little bit racist.”
The ‘monkey’ comments allegedly came up multiple times as well. Tillman shared a story about a situation when a group of black girls were explaining how calling someone a ‘monkey’ is racist. The apparently responded saying, ‘It’s OK, you’re all my little monkeys.’
The K-8 public school is said to consist of 61% black students out of 661 students, with 26% being white.