Members of the Black community in Harris County, Texas, are calling for the “swift” termination of a ninth-grade history teacher.
The group alleges the educator told a Black honors student she could have been sold down South while teaching a lesson on slavery.
During a press conference on April 5, the girl’s mother, Tori Ards, stood with community leaders to shed light on how the teacher’s actions impacted her eighth-grade child, Click 2 Houston reports.
The group wants the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District to fire her immediately.
The mother said her daughter, though not in the ninth-grade graduating class, is a student-athlete in the gifted and talented program and is taking some courses with the ninth-graders. U.S. history class in one of the advanced classes the Kahla Middle School has allowed Ards’ daughter to take.
According to KHOU 11, on Thursday, March 30, the teacher was teaching about the Civil War and the institution of slavery to the predominantly white class. And at some point during the lesson, she called upon Ards’ daughter to allegedly help her demonstrate her point. The girl is the only Black student in the class.
The teacher sought to present a reenactment of a scene from the misery of the auction block. She explained that the girl could have been captured, auctioned, and sold to the highest bidder.
“I could snatch her and take her to the South and sell her during slavery!” the teacher allegedly said.
The mother found out about the incident after a school administrator called to inform her about the unorthodox lesson.
“She [the asst. principal] explained it to me as it was explained to her and then she put my daughter on the phone to let me know, in her own words, that the teacher had used her as an example of ‘a fugitive slave,’” Ards said.
This was not the first time the teacher went off script to teach her beliefs about the antebellum period in American history. The teacher allegedly told the class the Confederate flag was a symbol of Southern pride and had “nothing to do with slavery,” and was about states’ rights, two facts many of the history books have wrong, Click2Houston reported.
Quanell X, the leader of the New Black Panther Nation in Houston, stood with the mother and blasted the teacher for wanting to rewrite history and declaring, “This woman is crazy as hell!”
“She’s singling out this young Black student as an example of a slave auction, a slave capture, and a sale,” Quanell X said about the instructor, adding. “We have teachers, who are racists and bigots in the classrooms, in charge of the responsibility of shaping and developing young minds and want to rewrite history to desensitize slavery, human bondage, lynching, and deprivation of Black people in America and here in the South.”
The principal of the school released a statement to parents, addressing the collective as “Kahla Family.”
Joshua Carroll said, “I wanted you to know that we have been made aware of allegations involving a staff member and improper role-playing during a social studies lesson.”
“We are thoroughly investigating these allegations, and the staff member will not be on campus prior to the outcome of the investigation,” Carroll continued. “We look forward to a swift resolution to this matter and remain committed to providing a respectful, safe, and supportive learning environment for our students.”
Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District also said it is investigating the accusations against the teacher