A North Carolina teacher resigned after she allegedly told Black students during a classroom lesson that they could be “field slaves” had it not been for the Constitution, WITN reported.
“She had them raise their hand during a constitutional lesson and reminded them that if it wasn’t for the Constitution, they would be her slaves. Her field slaves,” parent Kanisha Tillman, whose child witnessed the incident, told the NBC affiliate on Wednesday.
The incident reportedly took place at Winterville Charter Academy while students in eighth grade were learning about the Constitution.
On Sept. 24, a memo was sent to parents from Principal Annastasia Ryan, which was obtained by WITN, saying, “On Monday evening, it was brought to the attention of school administration that a racially insensitive lesson regarding the importance of the Constitution of the United States was carried out during an English lesson on Constitution Day.”
Ryan claimed in her memo that children in the classroom started using two “racially insensitive words” and the situation was ultimately handled inappropriately by the teacher.
Ryan said that the administration supported the teacher's resignation, and that an investigation into the incident would take place, according to WITN. She said that the teacher who stepped down would receive cultural sensitivity training. In addition, other staff members would also receive this training.
On Oct. 5, the principal sent out another memo to parents and families following outrage on social media over the incident.
“As soon as we were made aware of each incident, we immediately took action. The result was a teacher resignation and the children involved being disciplined in accordance with our Parent and student handbook,” Ryan said Tuesday, according to the NBC affiliate.
“These situations concern us, too. Our school culture is built on one of acceptance, love, and respect to serve all children and their families. The inner workings of our school are surrounded by intentional effort to eliminate implicit and explicit bias.”
The Hill has reached out to the school and National Heritage Academies for comment.