A history teacher at Chapelfield Elementary School apparently held a mock slave auction as a means of explaining the history of slavery to students. The class was divided into two sections: “Slaves” and “Masters”. There were only two African-American students in the classroom—one was assigned to be a “Master” and the other student, Nikko Burton, was told to be a “Slave”.
The 10 year-old was disciplined after he refused to participate in the re-enactment which involved pocking, prodding, and public humiliation.
I ended up being a slave,” Nikko told 10TVNews. “At first I didn’t care, but after people were bidding on people it kind of made me a little mad and stuff.”
The teacher told the students that they needed to touch the “Slaves” to see if they were worth being purchased.
“The masters go to touch people and do all sorts of stuff,” Nikko said. “They got to look in your mouth and feel your legs and stuff and see if you’re strong and stuff.”
Every once in awhile, I read a story like this (and by "like this", I mean literally a story where a Black student is forced to reenact being a slave) and I wonder -- how can a teacher be so dumb. And then it happens again.
Incidentally, I'm guessing that the Ohio state curricular requirements do require students to learn about slavery, but they don't require a mock auction.