The auction was held during a class for fifth-graders in a private school in New York and the students were placed under imaginary shackles.
While we still weigh the importance of the future in terms of education and the kind of direction the current generation is given, it is necessary to also know that sometimes, it can misfire. Private schools tend to have greater liberty and freedom to get teachers who like to be more unconventional, however, racial insensitivity can't be overlooked even then.
According to the New York Post, parents are up in arms against a private school in Westchester County, New York - after social studies teacher reportedly held a mock slave auction in which the white students were asked to 'buy' their black classmates.
The incident is now being investigated by the school authorities at the Chapel School in Bronxville. It was said to have occurred on Tuesday in the fifth-grade history class of Rebecca Antinozzi.
Some might ponder over the issues that are coming up with that glaring scream of insensitivity in a lot of ways, it is hard to ignore the kind of trauma that the students may undergo in its wake. Vernex Harding told the station WPIX that her son, who is black and attends the school, was left traumatized by the controversial lesson on slavery.
Bronxville private school teacher allegedly held mock slave auction. Some parents (White I imagine) say that the teacher isn’t racist, it was an error in judgement. If race wasn’t a factor why weren’t white kids chained and auctioned? Why only black kids? https://t.co/FAWcwSNvag— GeauxTigers516 (@GeauxTigers516) 11 March 2019
Harding said that her child was one of three African-American students who were picked by Antinozzi, who is white, to play the role of slaves. “I’m getting teary-eyed about it because it’s like, how could somebody do this to my son," mom Vernex Harding told TV station PIX 11.
Vernex Harding said her child told her that the teacher took him and the other two kids, both girls, into the hallway earlier this week and “started to put imaginary chains on our necks, our wrists and shackles on our ankles.” “I was in shock,” Harding told The New York Post on Friday last week.
BRONXVILLE, N.Y. — The Chapel School in Bronxville called emergency meetings with parents lesson on slavery. black students were singled out in a mock slave auction. pic.twitter.com/NeeVLACxNf— Brother Tyrone X (@tyrone345345) 10 March 2019
“When they got inside the classroom, she started a bidding process going, ‘$100, $200 …’ and said to one of the other kids, ‘You’re a wealthy white man’ and started bidding at $300,” Harding said. The alleged incident happened Tuesday at the pre-K through-eighth-grade school, where annual tuition runs up to $14,000.
“He was humiliated,” Harding said of her child. “My son doesn’t want to see her again, and I don’t want to see her again.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James confirmed to The New York Post on Friday that she has launched a probe into the matter.
“The reports of racist ‘lessons’ by a teacher at The Chapel School are deeply troubling,” James said in a statement. “My office is monitoring this matter closely.”
Another source familiar to the situation had revealed to New York Post that James' office had already been contacted by the parents of the children at school. And this discomfort has been felt by the parents regardless of the color - both black and white - have expressed that the incident should not have happened.
The parents complained to James’s office that there have been previous incidents involving teachers and black students that “bordered” on being racist, “but nothing as egregious as this,” the source said.
A lesson in slavery? Bronxville, NY- The Chapel school social studies teacher, Rebecca 'Becky' Antinozzi causes outrage after conducting mock slave auction where white students were asked to buy classmates. https://t.co/TMFIMxYV41— Scallywagandvagabond (@ScallywagNYC) 9 March 2019
Antinozzi’s lawyer, Jordan Brooks, said in a statement: “The portrayal of the history lesson that has been reported is inaccurate, out of context, contains false facts and ignores the overwhelming support of Ms. Antinozzi from dozens of parents at the school, including several letters of support from African-American parents with children who have been taught by Ms. Antinozzi."
Mock student slave auction rocks private Westchester school https://t.co/mxquCzRZ2A #CivilRights #Education #EducationForEquality #EducationForAll #RacialBias #RacialEquity #Teacher #TeachersMatter #Westchester #Bronxville #LegalNews #News pic.twitter.com/q2Kn3uiiyR— Eric Sanders, Esq. (@SandersFirmPC) 8 March 2019
“Ms. Antinozzi loves her students and is beloved by them. To the extent anyone took offense to a small portion of the overall lesson that day that was used solely to emphasize the tragic injustice of slavery, it certainly was never intended,” Brooks said.
However the teacher has been removed from the classroom by the school, a news outlet reported.