Another Slavery Reference Reported at a Gwinnett School

Some students at Camp Creek Elementary say a teacher was involved in a slave game. GCPS denies teacher involvement.

Another activity referencing slavery has been reported at a Gwinnett County public school.

Some students at Camp Creek Elementary at Lilburn have told WSB-TV on video that they played a game that involved "slaves and slave catchers" with their teacher.

A Gwinnett schools spokesperson told the station that the activity was student-initiated and that allegations of teacher involvement were unfounded.

"It is demeaning, dehumanizing and hurtful," parent Charvia Rivers said.

This incident comes not long after a teacher at Beaver Ridge Elementary in Norcross resigned in the wake of a controversy involving test questions that included references to slavery.

The GCPS statement to WSB said, "The school district looked into concerns regarding four students who participated in a playground activity. The district determined that the activity was student initiated and that allegations regarding the teacher's involvement were unfounded."

One of the parents has met with a Camp Creek official about the incident, and diversity training reportedly is being planned, though it is not clear if that is for Camp Creek or the system as a whole.

One third-grader said in the video, "She (teacher) would sit on the bench, and the slave catchers would come up to the door and ask, 'Did she have any slaves?' "

Another student said the teacher described the activity "as a game where slave catchers catch slaves."

James January 27, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Gwinnett Schools......attention.....never mention slavery again!!!!
THaralson January 28, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Very well said, and I agree completely. There is absolutely no need to go to the media with this. If you have a concern about what's going on at school, talk to the teacher. If you can not resolve the situation, go to the principal, and then to the school board. This is not a report about an ongoing situation of oppression of one group of children. This is a single incidence where children were made uncomfortable, and it was addressed and corrected immediately. It should NEVER have been a news story.
Courtney January 31, 2012 at 11:36 PM
O.K. Children. Slavery never happened and black people just moved in around 1860. Harriet Tubman never did anything great and Fredrick Douglas must be an NFL player or something.
rebecca olesen January 31, 2013 at 09:11 PM
How do you know that's how it happened. Maybe the teacher is an idiot and thought teaching the children about how 'bad' slavery was could be done with a 'game' to show students how runaway slaves had to live. Did you ever think of that? Of course not, you only think the worst. It seems like talking about slavery at all would 'dehumanize' children, but it seems like some people want it to be a constant and daily issue. I love how you automatically insist that it was 'an attempt to dehumanize children' (p.s. the article said the CHILDREN made up the game, if you'd bother to read it.) Do you think you can talk about slavery all the time to kids, and they won't incorporate it into their play? As far as ''greater issues'' what planet do you live on? In my hometown recently a 5 & a 6 year old, separately brought loaded guns to school. One kid aimed it at another kid on the school bus and said 'do you want to die today'. Kids are murdered, raped, beaten,stabbed,initiated into gangs, robbed, sell drugs - all in school. One high school had an overall pregnancy rate of 24% at one time. All in just my city. If you think this stupid story is more important, then you are part of the problem. Stupid teachers trying to show how hard it was by involving children in interactive teaching methods end up being fired or in trouble when some kid complains. Maybe they should just stop talking about it altogether.
rebecca olesen January 31, 2013 at 09:15 PM
LOL the sad sad truth is most public school students might think Frederick Douglas was an NFL player, if you told them that. I rode the city bus every day with some inner city black high school students, and sat around a group of the same kids every day. One time they asked me what I was reading. It was a paperback about WW2, Hitler & the holocaust. I told them it was a book about Hitler, and they said 'whose's that?' They had never even heard of WW2, okay? I mean 'what war' - blank faces. I said a little bit about who he was, that there was a war in 1940 (or whatever I said) and asked them if they wanted that book, which I gave to them. It was worth the cost of the book, because I felt so defeated understanding how little they were learning about world history I wanted to just 'give up' myself. I held a small hope it would lead them to become interested in something outside the confines of their own city.


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