North Carolina Superintendent Apologizes As Parents Slash JS Waters ‘Slave Auction’

A North Carolina school superintendent apologized Monday after Black students were “sold out” by classmates in a simulated “slave auction.”

“I want to apologize… to every student who has ever felt unsafe in our care, to every student who has ever felt put down, disrespected or marginalized because of race. race, ethnicity, sex, gender, religion, or disability,” said Chatham School District Superintendent Anthony Jackson during a board meeting Monday night. “In Chatham County schools, we proudly boast that diversity is our strength and that going forward, it will be our purposeful focus to ensure that this celebration includes everybody.”

More than a week after a parent complained about a Black student at JS Waters School being “slave auction“The Chatham County School Board unanimously approved the superintendent’s policy changes to the school district in the hope of preventing similar incidents of racial discrimination in the future.

In his list of changes, Jackson vowed to take stronger disciplinary action against persistent students. He wants to do it too sensitivity training to all district employees, Spectrum News1 Charlotte reported.

The “auction” caused widespread social media conversations when Ashley Palmera parent of JS Waters, posted about it on March 4th.

“HAY YOUR KIDS! You never know what they might be going through,” she wrote. “To say we had a rough week is an understatement. Our son went through a slave auction by his classmates.”

She said her son was so used to disruptive behavior at school that he didn’t feel the need to tell his parents about it.

“His friend bought it for $350” and another student was a Slavemaster because he “knew how to handle them,” Palmer continued in her post. “We even have a video of students humming the letter N. Since when are kids so blatantly racist? Why is this culture accepted? … Parents, teach your children that this behavior is not okay, Teach them also that Abuse IS RIGHT! Laughter is worse! ”

The post gained a lot of traction Chatham County Schools Official Facebook Page replied that faculty members were looking into the matter.

“[They] are taking this very seriously and have taken steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” the account posted.

Before Monday’s meeting, Palmer spoke at a news conference outside Pittsboro Presbyterian Church.

“The actions taken against our son and other classmates are extremely disturbing, however, it is not surprising as this is not the first time our family has faced these kinds of problems. racist behavior towards one of our children,” she told the crowd, according to one videotapes provided by The News & Observer. “This is not about diversity and inclusion. This is not equity. This is racist and deserves to be treated as such. … Racist behavior should not be punished as much as someone pulling another student’s hair with a one-day suspension. It should have its own indication that can be reported at the county level and dealt with with the significant consequences it deserves. ”

Christy Wagner, another parent whose child was “bought” in the “slave auction,” said in Council meetings That night.

“Over the past week, I’ve been going through every emotion possible in the events of nearly two weeks ago,” she said. “Some days I feel guilty and wonder if I am doing a good job raising my son. I never thought in a million years I would be standing here talking about my son being racist in high school. ”

Students attending other schools in the district also spoke out, decrying the incident and pushing for change.

Ashley Perez, a senior at Jordan Matthews High School, said: “I am disappointed and disheartened with the events that have occurred at JS Waters School. “As a student of the Chatham County school system, I am deeply ashamed that this incident happened [in] my home district. This event did not follow the motto ‘Collective creates success. ‘”

“Racist behavior in schools has become so ingrained that it is easy to go blind. … Our schools should educate us to respect and think, not to be ignored about how we might hurt others,” said Evelyn Munoz, another senior student at Jordan Matthews. know at the meeting. “Some students have been taught how to behave at home. And when there’s nothing at school to fix this, it only gets worse. Instead of hiding, what we need is a space where we can openly talk about race and inform ourselves about what it means in our society. We have included historical facts and dates, but do not show the permanent consequences of discrimination in our housing, prisons or education system. We cannot prepare to fight racism if we are not taught about it.”

A fourth-grader at Virginia Cross Elementary questioned where the teachers were in the alleged “.”

“This shouldn’t have happened,” he said.

In Jackson’s statement, he noted that “creating a safe environment for students is the first promise schools make to families.”

“Actions like this do not reflect who we are as a school system and will not be tolerated,” he stressed. “Those who engage in acts that look down on any person are acting outside the values ​​of our school system and will be held accountable in any way at our disposal. It is painful to hear some of these accounts, and I want to thank those who have had the courage to step forward and speak their truth. It is now our responsibility to do what all students need to be true beneficiaries of the many amazing programs and opportunities we offer within our school system. ”

Chatham County schools declined to comment further. North Carolina Superintendent Apologizes As Parents Slash JS Waters ‘Slave Auction’

Russell Falcon

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