A Wisconsin teacher was placed on leave for allegedly asking black students to research “games that had been played by enslaved children” during a lesson on games from around the world, according to a letter sent to parents by the Shorewood School District.
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The alleged incident took place during an April 1 class. The district’s letter said an internal investigation was launched when it heard about the concerns two days later, and the seventh-grade physical education teacher was placed on leave pending the findings.
“We take these allegations extremely serious,” Bryan Davis, Shorewood Schools superintendent, said in the school’s letter. “Throughout this situation, student safety and well-being have been our top priority. Our school counselor, school psychologist, Dean of Students, and the SIS principal have been providing support to the students who were directly involved in the incident.”
The Shorewood Intermediate School teacher was not identified.
MaHailey Stephens, who is a seventh-grader at Shorewood Intermediate School, recounted the alleged incident to her mother.
“[The teacher] told us to all go get into our groups and then she told us that she would help us research slave games,” MaHailey told Milwaukee news station WITI. “I went to my mom, I’m like, mom, what are slave games?”
MaHailey’s mother, Dr. Reshunda Stephens, hope the school addresses the issue at hand.
“We have to work together, have those courageous conversations and provide support not only for the adults but most importantly for our children because it’s not fair for our children to have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable,” she told WITI.
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