Slavery Skit at DC Charter School Upsets Students, Parents

A project at a Washington, D.C, charter school was supposed to teach students about African American history, but instead left students upset and parents outraged.

A group of fifth graders at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School in Northeast D.C. performed a skit involving a slave owner whipping slaves, according to parents.

"Unacceptable. unacceptable," parent Sharon Ragland said.

Ragland has three children who attend the school in D.C.'s Brookland neighborhood.

She said a few weeks ago, her fifth-grade son came home upset after his classmates put on a skit.

"Two of the African American boys portraying a scene of slavery being beaten by a white child," Ragland said.

In a letter sent home to parents, a school administrator wrote that it was regrettable that the teacher did not stop the skit.

Linda Moore, the founder of the school, said during a phone interview with News4 the issue goes beyond the classroom skit.

"What happened in the classroom was indicative of the difficulties that we as a nation are having, and have always had, coming to grips with our history around slavery and racism," Moore said. "I feel very strongly that we should not ignore our history and there are many ways to teach children."

School officials also acknowledged a Confederate flag was used during a skit, but did not say whether a teacher or student brought it to class.

In Loudoun County, Virginia, teachers told students to act like slaves and slave owners during a Black History Month gym activity.

Madison's Trust Elementary School Principal David Stewart apologized to parents in a letter and the school system said it would require "implicit bias training" for all teachers and administrators.

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