A Teaching Moment Or A Lack Of Teaching Judgment?
A couple of weeks ago, Eileen Bernstein, a social studies teacher at Haverstraw Middle School in New York was teaching a class on slavery. To make a point, she chose two African-American girls for a demonstration. One of the girls volunteered, the other did not.
Ms. Bernstein then taped their hands together, taped their feet together and had them crawl under a desk as if they were on a slave ship. The point of the lesson was to show the conditions on ships that carried slaves out of Africa.
The mother of the 13-year-old girl who did not volunteer has complained to the school. The teacher has apologized for causing problems for the child but is not apologizing for using the simulation in class. The mother says her child has been traumatized as a result of this incident and wants the teacher fired!
Later today, we'll discuss who is overreacting in this matter - the mom or the teacher?
If you'd like to watch a video report on this situation, including an inteview with the mom and the principal, please click here.