Teaching Slavery at South Mountain, Jefferson also involved in poor implementation of teaching the subject.

spontaneous

I applaud the school teaching about slavery and not trying to minimize it by calling the slaves immigrants or workers, but at the same time, I think the execution of the project left a LOT to be desired, especially with the posters hanging in the hallway for others to see without any context.

When I was in elementary school we did our class play about the underground railroad. Others have suggested having the children write about how a slave might have felt (putting them in the mindset of the slave, rather than the traffickers).

http://twentytwowords.com/parents-are-outraged-over-this-fifth-grade-assignment/?utm_content=inf_10_2480_2&utm_source=34915&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=influencer&utm_campaign=jabra&tse_id=INF_64d3f80009a011e79b1a07d5f3e08d7d


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spontaneous

Apparently a mock slave auction was held in a class in a Jefferson school class while under the supervision of a substitute teacher.

WTF is going on in this school district?


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spontaneous

http://joestrupp.blogspot.com/2017/03/jefferson-school-mock-slave-auction.html?m=1

A week after student drawings of slave auction posters at one school for a class assignment drew concerns and removal of the images, Maplewoodian.com has learned that an actual mock slave auction was held in another district school, according to a letter sent home to parents by the class teacher.

Several students in a fifth-grade class at Jefferson School apparently participated in a mock slave auction held when their teacher was away and a substitute teacher was in charge.

See the letter sent home to parents below (We have removed the teacher's identity). It states, in part, that the teacher was "concerned about the students who viewed and participated in this re-enactment." Also that a video of the event was made.



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annielou

I'm kind of surprised that this has taken a minute to show up on MOL. I first saw it on a Facebook post sent to me by my daughter a week or so ago. It was posted by a friend with whom she attended both South Mountain School and Columbia. Several former SOMA students chimed in on FB as well. Most followup comments centered on both the lack of context and additional narrative, and, a concern for small children who observed the slave imagery but who were not part of the overall conversation. Right now I'm torn between good intentions gone awry (?) and/or an astonishing lack of cultural sensitivity(?)


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Henry


annielou said:

I'm kind of surprised that this has taken a minute to show up on MOL. I first saw it on a Facebook post sent to me by my daughter a week or so ago. It was posted by a friend with whom she attended both South Mountain School and Columbia. Several former SOMA students chimed in on FB as well. Most followup comments centered on both the lack of context and additional narrative, and, a concern for small children who observed the slave imagery but who were not part of the overall conversation. Right now I'm torn between good intentions gone awry (?) and/or an astonishing lack of cultural sensitivity(?)

It was on national news. Who are these "substitutes?" How asinine can you be? VIDEOS??? Give me a break. These people have garbage for souls and s@@@ for brains. Imbeciles.


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annielou

My post refers to the slavery project at south mountain school, not the video made at Jefferson school. This is the first I'm hearing of this. Aren't subs supposed to follow a lesson plan?


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lord_pabulum


spontaneous said:

Apparently a mock slave auction was held in a class in a Jefferson school class while under the supervision of a substitute teacher.

WTF is going on in this school district?

Where are the dozens of administrators who control this sort of activity? Wouldn't it be easier to show Roots


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spontaneous


annielou said:

Aren't subs supposed to follow a lesson plan?

Or at least have a f*cking clue.


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Nancy


spontaneous said:



annielou said:

Aren't subs supposed to follow a lesson plan?

Or at least have a f*cking clue.

Subs in the elementary schools follow lesson plans. Sometimes the plans are hard to follow. Also, when things go wrong they can sometimes get blamed for things they had nothing to do with.


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Henry


nan said:



spontaneous said:



annielou said:

Aren't subs supposed to follow a lesson plan?

Or at least have a f*cking clue.

Subs in the elementary schools follow lesson plans. Sometimes the plans are hard to follow. Also, when things go wrong they can sometimes get blamed for things they had nothing to do with.

What does that mean? You mean a teacher dreamed that crap up? Pathetic!


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spontaneous


annielou said:

I'm kind of surprised that this has taken a minute to show up on MOL. I first saw it on a Facebook post sent to me by my daughter a week or so ago.

I'm not on the major FB gossip site, so I missed it there. I also don't watch TV news, and get most of my news from Washington Post and NPR, so please forgive me if I was late in hearing about this.


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annielou

Not sure which "national news" outlet this was on or in. I did see the South Mountain story on nj.com, but if Bill Maher commented on it, it must really be out there somewhere. It's not cool to see stuff like this coming out of a town that promotes diversity.


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Nancy


fairplay said:



nan said:



spontaneous said:



annielou said:

Aren't subs supposed to follow a lesson plan?

Or at least have a f*cking clue.

Subs in the elementary schools follow lesson plans. Sometimes the plans are hard to follow. Also, when things go wrong they can sometimes get blamed for things they had nothing to do with.

What does that mean? You mean a teacher dreamed that crap up? Pathetic!

I have no idea. I'm just responding to someone asking if subs follow plans.


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Dave

I just Googled 'slave posters' and found this story on CNN, ABC, CBS, Pix 11, HuffPo South Africa, Washington Times, Daily Mail, and more.


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DaveSchmidt


nan said:

spontaneous said:

annielou said:

Aren't subs supposed to follow a lesson plan?
Or at least have a f*cking clue.
Subs in the elementary schools follow lesson plans. Sometimes the plans are hard to follow. Also, when things go wrong they can sometimes get blamed for things they had nothing to do with.

The letter from the teacher, as shown on Maplewoodian.com, was a little hard for me to follow in spots, but it suggested to me that the auction was an idea that a student, or a group of students, came up with for a project. And that the project happened to be presented on a day when the teacher was out and a sub was in, without either being aware of its intent in advance.

Did I read it wrong?


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Dave

I recall that having a sub was often a prime time for students to go off-script.


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spontaneous


dave said:

I recall that having a sub was often a prime time for students to go off-script.

If the complaint was simply that they went off script, I'd agree, but this is much more than the class not following the lesson plan for the day. Even if the kids did come up with the idea, isn't the sub supposed to be there as adult supervision? You'd think an adult would have enough common sense to put the kibosh on it.


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DaveSchmidt


spontaneous said:

dave said:

I recall that having a sub was often a prime time for students to go off-script.
If the complaint was simply that they went off script, I'd agree, but this is much more than the class not following the lesson plan for the day. Even if the kids did come up with the idea, isn't the sub supposed to be there as adult supervision? You'd think an adult would have enough common sense to put the kibosh on it.

Here's some elaboration by the district on the pathetic dreaming up of this crap, and what some of the dozens of administrators who control this sort of activity plan to do to help substitute teachers at least have a f*cking clue:

District Promises Better Sub Training in Wake of Mock Slave Auction at Jefferson School


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yahooyahoo

It's easy to blame subs, kind of like blaming the fake media.

It's a b.s. excuse from the school district. How can you blame the sub in one school when another school is making slave auction posters?

fairplay said:



nan said:



spontaneous said:



annielou said:

Aren't subs supposed to follow a lesson plan?

Or at least have a f*cking clue.

Subs in the elementary schools follow lesson plans. Sometimes the plans are hard to follow. Also, when things go wrong they can sometimes get blamed for things they had nothing to do with.

What does that mean? You mean a teacher dreamed that crap up? Pathetic!



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annielou

Obviously slavery is, and should be, part of an overall curriculum on Colonial America. I think a larger issue is whether African American history is truly well integrated into the overall instruction of American History. Or is this the ONLY time during the school year that the African American experience is highlighted? And it's about slavery.


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kibbegirl

To @annielou's point, slavery isn't the only aspect to black Americans. And yes, Roots would have been appropriate to watch and then discuss. Instead of slave posters being drawn, how about researching black artists, scientists, engineers, politicians and doctors who contributed to this country? Or everyday people with no college degree who changed the world. Henrietta Lacks anyone? Black history IS American history. We are all Americans are we not? We were far more than slaves. It's annoying and trite.


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MrSuburbs

Slavery is a major part of black history in America. I'm curious, how can you teach or inform others about black history in America and avoid slavery and its ugliness in the process?

Are the teachers wrong for teaching these lessons? How do you teach lessons about slavery without it getting ugly?

How do you teach about the Holocaust without it getting ugly?

How do you teach about any of the horrific history that has been done to mankind without getting ugly?


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kibbegirl


MrSuburbs said:

Slavery is a major part of black history in America. I'm curious, how can you teach or inform others about black history in America and avoid slavery and its ugliness in the process?

Are the teachers wrong for teaching these lessons? How do you teach lessons about slavery without it getting ugly?

How do you teach about the Holocaust without it getting ugly?

How do you teach about any of the horrific history that has been done to mankind without getting ugly?

No one said don't teach it. Teach it BUT also teach the other aspects of black life after slavery: Jim Crow, civil rights, as examples, all of which occurred after the abolishment of slavery. Our American history is tainted and ugly for sure. No one is suggesting ignoring the icky parts, but for an educator to feel that having classmates draw slave posters without context is disturbing. How many children know what a "house girl" was and how she became a house girl to the owner and his family? Do the children even understand, as taught by this sub, how people became slaves? How they were mistreated, killed and abused? It's all ugly and again, no one is saying don't discuss it but we can't just discuss slavery and not discuss the after effects and understand what it has done to blacks in this country just like you can't discuss the Holocaust and not discuss and understand the after effects of what it has done to the Jewish people.

No matter how poetic Ben Carson may sound, slaves were NOT immigrants to this country.


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Klinker


MrSuburbs said:

How do you teach about the Holocaust without it getting ugly?

Well, you could start by canceling the lesson plan where the kids pretend they are camp guards and select some of their classmates for the ovens.


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MrSuburbs

I understand you kibbegirl. I also believe the main problem parents have is educators exposing their children to such ugliness. It's amazing, we go out of our way to protect our children but in actuality, most of them would end up asking the same question if given the ugly truth ...

Why did people do that to each other?

It all comes down to opinion on how slavery or ugly truths should be taught but since it's history, it should and needs to be taught.

Just my opinion grin



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sprout
MrSuburbs said:

How do you teach about any of the horrific history that has been done to mankind without getting ugly?

To echo the others: Don't teach it via a re-enactment.

In 1968, A teacher performed an experiment on her elementary school class on the impact of designating a superior/inferior group based just on eye color, for just two days.

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/a-class-divided/

Elliott divided her class by eye color -- those with blue eyes and those with brown. On the first day, the blue-eyed children were told they were smarter, nicer, neater, and better than those with brown eyes.
Throughout the day, Elliott praised them and allowed them privileges such as a taking a longer recess and being first in the lunch line. In contrast, the brown-eyed children had to wear collars around their necks and their behavior and performance were criticized and ridiculed by Elliott.
On the second day, the roles were reversed and the blue-eyed children were made to feel inferior while the brown eyes were designated the dominant group. What happened over the course of the unique two-day exercise astonished both students and teacher.
On both days, children who were designated as inferior took on the look and behavior of genuinely inferior students, performing poorly on tests and other work.

For a higher resolution of the Frontline epsode you can watch on YouTube:


Now that the impact is known, to do a similar experiment on children would likely require a human subjects review of the experiment, the debriefing process, and informed parental consent.


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jimmurphy

I too am surprised that it took so long for this issue to be discussed here.

I can state unequivocally though that at South Mountain this was not a "slavery project." I have see the rubric and it was a project regarding Colonial America. Making a slave auction poster was one of several options for the students to work on. Most did not.

The gentleman who publicized it to the masses selected only the slave auction poster images for his photographic collage.

It would be good if the thread title was changed. I can provide photos later today of the rubric and the entire bulletin board if people are interested.

Like many here, I agree that ignoring unpleasant issues is not the answer.

I also agree that the issue with the substitute is unacceptable, however, I absolutely do not believe that what happened there was on any "lesson plan."


spontaneous said:

I applaud the school teaching about slavery and not trying to minimize it by calling the slaves immigrants or workers, but at the same time, I think the execution of the project left a LOT to be desired, especially with the posters hanging in the hallway for others to see without any context.

When I was in elementary school we did our class play about the underground railroad. Others have suggested having the children write about how a slave might have felt (putting them in the mindset of the slave, rather than the traffickers).

http://twentytwowords.com/parents-are-outraged-over-this-fifth-grade-assignment/?utm_content=inf_10_2480_2&utm_source=34915&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=influencer&utm_campaign=jabra&tse_id=INF_64d3f80009a011e79b1a07d5f3e08d7d



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spontaneous


MrSuburbs said:

Slavery is a major part of black history in America. I'm curious, how can you teach or inform others about black history in America and avoid slavery and its ugliness in the process?

Are the teachers wrong for teaching these lessons? How do you teach lessons about slavery without it getting ugly?

How do you teach about the Holocaust without it getting ugly?

How do you teach about any of the horrific history that has been done to mankind without getting ugly?

I haven't seen anyone here saying slavery shouldn't be taught. We're saying it should be taught with respect in regards to the subject matter.



jimmurphy said:

I can state unequivocally though that at South Mountain this was not a "slavery project." I have see the rubric and it was a project regarding Colonial America. Making a slave auction poster was one of several options for the students to work on. Most did not.

The gentleman who publicized it to the masses selected only the slave auction poster images for his photographic collage.

I haven't been to the school, so I'll have to take your word on it. I still question the thought process behind having slave auction posters be a part of an arts and crafts project, even if it is part of a larger subject. Would we have Nazi propaganda posters as an option for the section on 20th century history?

And while it may be true that the students who made these posters did so with context (though I still wouldn't agree with the project), the other children in the school walking down the halls and seeing these posters didn't have that context. Keep this in mind the next time you hear people saying that racism and prejudice is taught at home.


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MrSuburbs

spontaneous, that's the issue. Do you really think you can get a consensus on the proper way to teach slavery with "respect"?

That's what makes this discussion so miraculous. Because it would definitely be a miracle if all agreed on how slavery or ugly truths of history should be taught.


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