NORFOLK, Va. - The superintendent of Norfolk, Va., schools apologized Saturday for a controversial classroom lesson involving the mock auction of black students.
Apparently, during a fourth grade teacher's lesson on the Civil War, students were separated by race. White students on one side and African American and mixed-race students on the other, who were then offered up for auction, Virginia's Fox 43 news reports.
In an April 6 letter to the students' parents and guardians, Principal Mary B. Wrushen wrote, "I recently became aware of a history lesson that was presented to the students in Ms. Jessica Boyle's fourth grade class. Although her actions were well intended to meet the instructional objectives, the activity presented was inappropriate for the students."
Wrushen added that she intends to follow up with the teacher to make sure this never happens again.
"The lesson could have been thought through more carefully, as to not offend her students or put them in an uncomfortable situation," Wrushen said in the letter.
The letter also said a guidance counselor is available to discuss any concerns with students concerning the classroom lesson.
Superintendent Dr. Richard Bentley said the school district does not condone this type of lesson.
"It was wrong. It was outside the boundaries of the curriculum and appropriate instructional practices," Bentley said.