Watch the video about the incident below:
BY CHRISTINE ROBERTS / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2013, 12:22 PM
‘How are you supposed to feel when your 5-year-old says he didn’t want to get auctioned off?’ asks an outraged mom with a child at MacMillan International Academy in Montgomery, where the incident occurred.
An Alabama mother says she’s outraged after a teacher allegedly asked her to child to act out a slave auction during a kindergarten class on slavery.
“He said he didn’t want to get on the table at the auction block,” mom Jamelle Young.
“And how are you supposed to feel when your 5-year-old says he didn’t want to get auctioned off?”
WWW.KAIT8.COM- Parent Jamelle Young says 5-year-olds are too young to be taught the concept of slavery.
Young said the unidentified teacher at MacMillan International Academy in Montgomery, Ala., chose “the fair-skinned boy and the fair-skinned girl” to be “masters” at the auction.
The teacher also allegedly gave the kids a coloring sheet depicting a slave auction and told the students to go home and ask their parents if they’d “ever go back into slavery.”
“That’s not a question you ask anybody, let alone a five year old,” the mother added.
Young raised her concerns with the school’s principal, who reportedly wrote in an email that the teacher had no intention of being offensive.
“Slavery is taught throughout history in just about every grade level,” the principal wrote in the email Young provided to KAIT .
“Although it is an ugly part of American history that none of us care to remember, it is important for children of all races to be aware of it to gain an appreciation for the diverse community in which we live today.”
The teacher also allegedly gave the students a coloring sheet, similar to the one pictured above, depicting a slave trade.
Young said that the questionable lesson came after a class on Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, among others. The kids had further questions on slavery, prompting the teacher to send the kids home with the discussion question.
“She wanted to start a discussion amongst the parents and the children, and I told her I thought it was an inappropriate way to start the discussion and it could have been handled differently,” Young explained.
MacMillan International Academy did not immediately return the Daily News’ request for comment.
Montgomery Public Schools, which represents the school, said it is currently investigating the incident.
“We are working to ensure discussions concerning this period in our history are honest and appropriate both in content and in relation to the age and grade level of students,” a school district said in a statement to the News.
But Young maintains that while slavery should be only be taught at higher grade levels.
“When should it be taught? Maybe not at five. How should it be taught? Definitely not standing on a table getting auctioned off.”
This is not the first time a school has come under fire for allegedly hosting a mock slave auction.
In 2011, Sewells Point Elementary School in Norfolk, Va., publicly apologized after black students were auctioned off during an class on the Civil War.