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Norfolk principal apologizes for mock auction of black students
PilotOnLine.com ^ | April 9, 2011 | Steve G. Veghe

Posted on 04/09/2011 8:26:59 AM PDT by Kaslin

NORFOLK

The principal of Sewells Point Elementary School has apologized to parents for a teacher's classroom exercise last week that cast her black and mixed-race fourth-graders as available for sale.

The apology came after the teacher separated the students from their white classmates and auctioned them, division spokeswoman Elizabeth Thiel Mather said. The exercise was part of an April 1 class on the Civil War.

In an April 6 letter sent to parents of students in the class, Principal Mary B. Wrushen wrote: "I recently became aware of a history lesson that was presented to the students in Ms. Jessica Boyle's fourth grade class. Although her actions were well intended to meet the instructional objectives, the activity presented was inappropriate for the students.

"The lesson could have been thought through more carefully, as to not offend her students or put them in an uncomfortable situation," Wrushen wrote.

Wrushen said the exercise was not supported by the school or division. "I will follow up with the classroom teacher to ensure nothing like this ever occurs again," the letter said. "In addition, the guidance counselor is available to discuss any concerns your child may still have concerning this classroom lesson."

Wrushen declined to comment Friday. Boyle, who has been with the division since 2005, did not return a call to the school. She has taught at Sewells Point for three years, and before that was at Dreamkeepers Academy, according to the division website.

Mather said the division was responding to the incident with "appropriate personnel action." She did not give details.

Wrushen became aware of the auction exercise after receiving complaints from two parents, and spoke to the class about the incident, Mather said.

"This lesson was not part of the approved curriculum," Mather said.

Chris Lee, whose daughter is in Boyle's class, was among parents picking up their children Friday at the school on Hampton Boulevard near Norfolk Naval Station. He said he'd heard no details about the exercise, though he received Wrushen's letter.

"My wife and I were trying to figure out what the letter was about, because we heard nothing about it, we just saw the letter," he said.

Told by a reporter about the auction, Lee said, "That sounds inappropriate to me. Wow. That's interesting - that's something I have to digest." He said he would ask his daughter to tell him about the incident.

The school has 590 students.

Contacted Friday by The Virginian-Pilot, School Board Chairman Kirk Houston said he had not known about the auction.

"That's very disturbing to me, extremely disturbing to me," he said. "Mock slave auctions involving children are absolutely unacceptable in a classroom. At this point this is a personnel matter, and the School Board will monitor its outcome."

Peggy Scott, treasurer of the Norfolk Council PTA, also first heard about the incident from The Pilot.

"I'm sitting here with my mouth hanging open," Scott said. "There are some things you don't do."

In a statement Friday, Superintendent Richard Bentley said: "The school district does not condone this type of lesson in any way. It was wrong. It was outside the boundaries of the curriculum and appropriate instructional practices."

Last year, a Jacox Elementary teacher who anointed students with "holy oil" in the classroom resigned after a parent complained about the teacher's religious actions. The division determined the teacher violated the school system's instructional curriculum as well as policies and laws related to the separation of church and state.

Also last year, two teachers at Norcom High School were placed on leave for using materials in the classroom that were endorsed by an anarchist group and an organization that backs legalized marijuana. Both received letters of reprimand for not receiving permission to use the materials in class and returned to their jobs.

An elementary guidance counselor who distributed 80 to 100 human fetus figurines to students last year at Oakwood Elementary resigned after being put on leave. The school's principal was removed from her post and reassigned elsewhere as an assistant principal.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: historyeducation; socialstudies

1 posted on 04/09/2011 8:27:01 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

It sounds as though the dumb biatch can’t get over the slavery thing. She needs to get a life, a job more appropriate to her intelligence level and maybe try to move on. Slavery in America has been over for a long time.


2 posted on 04/09/2011 8:31:43 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Don't wait until the next "threatened" government shut down! Visit a National Park today!!!)
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To: Kaslin
" . . . for a teacher's classroom exercise last week that cast her black and mixed-race fourth-graders as available for sale."

February is Black History Month and Mrs Boyle, the teacher, meant this as an April Fools Day prank. The Irish have no shame. < /sarcasm>

3 posted on 04/09/2011 8:32:18 AM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: Kaslin

A teacher decided to auction off black students...wouldn’t that be the definition of A Bad Idea?


4 posted on 04/09/2011 8:35:52 AM PDT by FourPeas
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To: Kaslin
"I'm sitting here with my mouth hanging open," Scott said. "There are some things you don't do."

Unless you're trying to brainwash kids into thinking: "I'm a victim. I'm a victim. I've been personally victimized by slavery and racism."

5 posted on 04/09/2011 8:37:40 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: FlingWingFlyer

Excellent point.


6 posted on 04/09/2011 8:38:04 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

So history should be ignored? Denied? Whitewashed?

For the life of me I don’t see what was wrong with the lesson.

It reminds me of the hysteria surrounding the former Mayor of D.C. saying he was going to be niggardly with the spending in the district.


7 posted on 04/09/2011 8:38:11 AM PDT by Carley (UNION AGITATORS, NO DIFFERENT THAN THE ARAB STREET. UGLY AND VIOLENT)
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To: FlingWingFlyer
Slavery in America has been over for a long time.

How Slavery Really Ended in America

Apparently there are a few here at FreeRepublic that missed that memo...

8 posted on 04/09/2011 8:40:35 AM PDT by rockrr ("Remember PATCO!")
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To: Kaslin
Slavery in the US ended 149 years ago.

More appropriate "current events" re-enactments could include the following:

- Have the boys wear turbans and beat the girls not wearing head scarves
- Have teachers steal half the kids' lunch money and give it to the DNC
- Force the smartest kids in the room to give their gold stars to the lazy ones
- find out which kids have the wealthiest parents, and make the other kids tease them as "greedy and evil"
- Have the kids sing songs lauding Barack Hussein Obama, Mmmm! Mmmm! Mmmm!

9 posted on 04/09/2011 8:44:43 AM PDT by DTogo (High time to bring back the Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: Carley

No.

But really? This is the best they could come up with to teach this?


10 posted on 04/09/2011 8:54:11 AM PDT by VanDeKoik (1 million in stimulus dollars paid for this tagline!)
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To: Kaslin

If the teacher had decided to use the white kids instead of the black and brown kids to be sold, this teacher would have been given the Teacher of the Year award for ‘innovation in teaching.’


11 posted on 04/09/2011 8:58:20 AM PDT by erkyl (We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office --Aesop (~550 BC))
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To: FlingWingFlyer

But for some it has left in its path an earth, scorched and debauched, with soil poisoned by the salt of slavery and only the enslavement of the white devil can purify the stain.


12 posted on 04/09/2011 9:00:54 AM PDT by Aevery_Freeman (Hey government - hold a garage sale and pay me my Social Security money back!)
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To: Kaslin

While this probably wasn’t the best way to teach the subject to 4th graders, I’m a bit surprised at some of the comments on this thread as they sound so very much like the libs spouting in the comments section of the VAPilot. I read there every day and have a pretty good idea of the local liberals as I have often engaged many of them in the comment section.


13 posted on 04/09/2011 9:01:27 AM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: Kaslin

I was telling this fellow at work about an old west saloon called St Elmo.
Wyatt Erp, Doc Holliday and the rest frequented the place.

Anywho.. I took my kid in there as a history lesson.
The proprietor pointed to a sign that said “unattended children will be sold into slavery”

The words just left my mouth when I realized he was black and that he may have been offended.

I was embarrassed and angry that I should feel that way.
My own people were enslaved. Why should I feel guilty to even utter the word?


14 posted on 04/09/2011 9:09:55 AM PDT by mylife (OPINIONS ~ $ 1.00 HALFBAKED ~ 50c)
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To: Carley
Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, history should be taught so the same mistakes that were made during the times will not be repeated.

It reminds me of the hysteria surrounding the former Mayor of D.C. saying he was going to be niggardly with the spending in the district.

Especially since niggardly means being stingy

15 posted on 04/09/2011 9:21:28 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Carley

Well, remember this, only Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Calypso Louie Farrakhan, are allowed to separate the races.
For anyone else, it is a No No.


16 posted on 04/09/2011 9:39:20 AM PDT by Mr. Wright
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To: FourPeas

Whoa!! Didn’t even a small warning bell go off in her head?


17 posted on 04/09/2011 9:54:38 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

I disagree.Role playing in lessons can really make it more real and the lesson sticks.The thing is she needed to contact all of the parents fiirst and inform them of what she had planned and why then get permision slips.Then with the participating children she needed to use a lottery system for what each was going to play.Whether slave holder or abolishiist, slave or freeman.There were many options she could’ve used.She just went about it all the wrong way.


18 posted on 04/09/2011 10:28:37 AM PDT by chris_bdba
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To: chris_bdba

And I can understand that. However, wouldn’t a little role playing about the slavery of communism be a little more appropriate as well as timely these days? Unfortunately, most of the clowns teaching in our schools these days wouldn’t want to see that lesson plan out there floating around, IMHO.


19 posted on 04/09/2011 10:33:08 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Don't wait until the next "threatened" government shut down! Visit a National Park today!!!)
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To: chris_bdba

The next time the teachers does this she needs to remember that there were thousands of black slave OWNERS in this country. There were even some black men who were slave breeders. They sold their own children into slavery.

She needs to also remember that it was blacks who sold other blacks into slavery in Africa. How else did the slaves get into slavery? The sailors on the ships were not going into the jungle to get them.


20 posted on 04/09/2011 10:37:07 AM PDT by ladyjane
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To: Kaslin

I dunno what’s stupider — this, or the infamous “blue eyes brown eyes” exercises in teacher guided bullying.

On the other hand, who would have the cojones to put on a play of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”? Now that might teach some lessons.


21 posted on 04/09/2011 11:59:19 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: ladyjane

Yuppers — the slave traders that came to Africa took advantage of inter-tribal wars and vendettas to get black people kidnapped for them. The crews were often Muslim; few Christians could stomach an operation like that.


22 posted on 04/09/2011 12:03:34 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: Kaslin

If there is a “Liberal PC overreaction of the year” award, this would be a strong candidate for it.


23 posted on 04/09/2011 12:12:10 PM PDT by Newtoidaho (Liberals: drooling buffoons (politicians/media/ bureaucrats) backed by satanic goons (union thugs).)
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To: Gabz

FR has its share of liberals too.


24 posted on 04/09/2011 2:15:00 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Allowing Islam into America is akin to injecting yourself with AIDS to prove how tolerant you are .)
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To: FlingWingFlyer; chris_bdba
And I can understand that. However, wouldn’t a little role playing about the slavery of communism be a little more appropriate as well as timely these days?

Not when the subject is Virginia history. That is the history course in 4th grade in Virginia. I do believe the history course in 4th grade in other states is that particular state's history.

Your suggestion is VERY appropriate for other history classes and I fully agree with you.

Unfortunately, most of the clowns teaching in our schools these days wouldn’t want to see that lesson plan out there floating around, IMHO.

So far I've been lucky, and my daughter is learning history in all of it's ugly presentations. Communism and socialism don't work and don't belong in our form of government, slavery is always wrong, and our government was set up in such a way that the states should not have to bend to the federal government on things best left to the local level.

Yup, she attends public school, in Virginia.

25 posted on 04/09/2011 2:25:51 PM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: Newtoidaho

Thank you.


26 posted on 04/09/2011 2:38:52 PM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: B4Ranch

I know.


27 posted on 04/09/2011 2:39:36 PM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: Kaslin

It’s a fair guess that kids in China are studying calculus while kids in Norfolk are involved in stupidity like this.


28 posted on 04/09/2011 5:59:12 PM PDT by Malesherbes (Sauve qui peut)
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To: Kaslin

Putting black people on a block and selling them as slaves has more impact on white people than anything. It’s not like we can say “Oh that could never happen”.


29 posted on 04/09/2011 6:01:17 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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