A teacher’s shocking statement about the US Constitution has put a North Carolina school in hot water.
Furious parents told local news network WITN that black students in Winterville Charter Academy's eighth-grade [year 9] class were singled out by the teacher.
One of them, Kanisha Tillman, said: “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… her field slaves”.
A regretful statement from school’s head teacher Annastasia Ryan admitted that there was a “racially insensitive lesson” at the school, and added that the teacher had since resigned.
“On Monday evening, it was brought to the attention of school administration that a racially insensitive lesson regarding the importance of the Constitution of the United States was carried out during an English lesson on Constitution Day,” the statement reads.
Ms Ryan continues that several children were allowed to use “racially insensitive words” without the teacher giving “appropriate redirection along with inappropriate response”.
“As soon as we were made aware of each incident,” she added, “we immediately took action. The result was a teacher resignation and the children involved being disciplined in accordance with our parent and student handbook”.
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Ms Ryan said that the school’s 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”.
She said that another recent situation of a racially insensitive remark by a student is is being investigated.
National Heritage Academies, the group that administers Winterville Charter Academy among some 90 other educational establishments, stressed that the school had responded quickly once the issue was raised.
“The school leadership team acted immediately upon learning about a racially insensitive lesson and student remarks,” a spokesperson stated in an email supplied to WITN, adding that the school is “currently working to address ongoing concerns from parents that racially insensitive student remarks continue.
“While student and staff privacy rights prevent me from sharing specific details,” the spokesperson added, “what I can share is that we will not tolerate racism in our school community and will continue taking swift action that addresses these issues.”
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