Sonya Eskridge is a writer from Maryland, who started her news career in radio at the age of 17. After graduating from Virginia Tech, she went on to write for a national publication where she was able to mold her personal voice. Always looking for ways to inform on important issues--or share her love of nerdy and girly things—Sonya thoroughly enjoys writing about a wide range of subjects.
Something weird’s been going on with six grade teachers this week, who have been exercising some poor judgment.
A teacher in Alabama has been suspended without pay after her students reenacted the shootings of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.
The Associated Press reports that the unidentified social studies teacher from Brantley Elementary School didn’t specifically have her kids play-out those events. She did, however, tell the kids to pick out a current event to recreate for the class; the students chose to do Trayvon and Michael’s shooting deaths all on their own.
The kids had to research the incidents before acting them out. Students, playing George Zimmerman and Darren Wilson respectively, used paper guns and bullets during the assignments as kids playing the kids sprawled out on the classroom floor.
According to the AP, administrators from Brantley Elementary found out about the controversial current events lesson when a mom complained about the assignment on Facebook. Shortly after that, the school put the teacher on suspension.
“There are consequences that we have for it, but that does not change our opinion of her as a teacher,” Dallas County School Superintendent Don Willingham said in a statement.
“We are looking forward to her return,” he added, not mentioning how long the teacher will be on suspension. “We’re excited about the rest of the school year.”
Her students could have learned about Michael and Trayvon’s shooting deaths in any number of way. Off the top of my head, the teacher could have had the kids do a mock investigation, where they would have to determine what really happened based on clues, news reports and witness accounts.
Failing that, they could have staged a fake protest in class, explaining specifically what happened in these situations and why they’re personally mad.
The Alabama teacher got off easy compared to another educator in Atlanta, who has been fired after playing “Drunk In Love” for her sixth graders.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that was only one complaint against Niki Turner. She was also accused of failing to demonstrate knowledge of the sixth-grade math concepts” and “properly plan lessons.”
Administrators complained that Beyonce’s hit song contains “profanity, vulgarity, and sexually explicit lyrics. This song is not [in] alignment with Teacher Keys Standard 9, Professionalism.”