The angry mother claims that white students held a mock slave auction at her black son’s school and pretended to sell him for $350 while singing the n-word. “This is not diversity and inclusion. This is not equity. This is racism and deserves to be treated as such.” the mom said. Now, a coalition of local groups wants the school district to raise the penalties for school employees who engage in racist behaviors, including making it a fireable offense. The school district released a statement and said that faculty members were looking into the incident.
The mom from North Carolina, Ashley Palmer, reportedly said the mock auction earlier this month happened in the presence of staff and faculty at the J.S. Waters School. The mock auction was even recorded on video, the Daily Mail reports.
The mother posted about it on Facebook. Her son, Jeremiah, reportedly told her about the mock auction. The mother was even more angry when she discovered that the perpetrators were suspended for just a day.
Ashley Palmer reportedly wrote: “HUG YOUR BABIES! You never know what they may be going through. To say we have had a rough week is an understatement. Our son experienced a slave auction by his classmates and when he opened up we were made aware that this type of stuff seems to be the norm so much that he didn’t think it was worth sharing.
His friend ‘went for $350’ and another student was the Slavemaster because he ‘knew how to handle them.’ We even have a video of students harmonizing the N word. Since when were children so blatantly racist? Why is this culture acceptable?
Students received 1 day suspension for the ‘slave auction.’ No action taken yet pertaining to the video. Today at recess the ‘slavemaster’ ‘accidentally’ hit my son with a baseball 4 times upon his return to school. Now he has decided to retaliate by making up things that Jeremiah didn’t say to attempt to get him into trouble. No further action from the school at this point.”
The school district released a statement and said that faculty members were looking into the incident.
A coalition of local groups called on the board to address the situation and require the instigators to apologize. The coalition wants the district to raise the penalties for school employees who engage in racist behaviors, including making it a fireable offense.
The coalition released the following statement: “These students were emboldened to not only commit brazen and overt acts of racism but to retaliate further and continue their aggression after serving a perfunctory one-day suspension.”
The schools superintendent, Anthony Jackson, reportedly apologized for the ‘slave auction’:“I want to offer an apology…to every single student who has ever felt unsafe while in our care, to every student who has ever felt demeaned, disrespected or marginalized because of their race, ethnicity, sex, gender, religion or disability.
Actions such as these, they just do not reflect who we are as a school system. And I say, unapologetically, will not be tolerated in the school system. Those who participate in acts that demean any person are acting outside the values of our school system and will be held accountable using every means at our disposal.
As painful as it has been to hear some of these accounts, I want to thank those who exercised the courage to step forward and speak their truth. It is now our responsibility to do the things all students need to be the true beneficiaries of the many wonderful programs and opportunities we have to offer in our school system.
In our schools, we proudly boast that diversity is our strength, and moving forward it will be our intentional focus to ensure that this celebration includes everyone.”
Per reports, the school board will also review the student code of conduct and discipline policies involving acts of racism. The school district will reportedly take stronger disciplinary actions against students who engage in bigotry and to implement sensitivity training for all staff in the district.
Ashley Palmer also said: “The acts committed towards our son and other classmates were extremely disturbing, however, not surprising since this isn’t the first time our family has had to deal with racist acts towards one of our children.
This is not diversity and inclusion. This is not equity. This is racism and deserves to be treated as such. …Racist acts shouldn’t be disciplined on the same level as someone pulling another student’s hair with a one-day suspension. It should have its own designation reportable at the county level and handled with the significant consequences it deserves.”
Per reports, the school board unanimously approved Superintendent Jackson’s proposed policy changes and regulations as part of a comprehensive plan for accountability for racist incidents in schools, support services for students and training for staff.