Parents of students at a Johns Creek, Georgia, middle school say that their kids have been given racially insensitive lessons on the Civil War.
At one point, eight graders came home with a cartoon published by abolitionist Thomas Nast depicting life for blacks in the South after slavery. The image shows members of the KKK and the White League shaking hands over an image of a cowering black family, with an image of a lynching in the background. It was meant to show that despite the end of slavery, there were still institutions that kept blacks from their promised freedoms.
But parents of several black students say the flyer was too insensitive. “It looks like a Ku Klux Klan flyer of a lynching,” said Emzie Glass.
Another parent, Jeff Royster, said, “I thought that was pretty over the top for an eighth-grader to have to handle.”
Parents also have a problem with the way the teacher presented material on the Civil War. “He had made a comment that slavery should have not ended with a war, but should have ended with just sentiments in the South changing,” Royster said. “They’re teaching the things that don’t offend whites.”
However, Fulton County Schools have said that they are aware of the situation but that they have not been able to substantiate claims of racial insensitivity. They defended the use of the cartoon, saying that it was part of a curriculum discussing the history of Reconstruction and institutionalized racism.
“The political cartoon was included in a packet of class materials about the Civil War and Reconstruction,” the statement read. “In retrospect, we regret that it was not shared with students in a more culturally sensitive way and that families were not given the proper context for the material. We are reviewing this situation so we can learn from it.”
Grio fam, do you think the parents are being overly sensitive or should the school been more tactful?