NC school apologizes for Civil War assignment that used 4th graders’ racist tweets

Their assignment encouraged the Waxhaw Elementary students to create pro-slavery tweets, Twitter hashtags.

A North Carolina school district is apologizing for an assignment that encouraged fourth-grade students to create pro-slavery tweets and Twitter hashtags. 

In a post that has since been deleted from the Facebook page of Waxhaw Elementary School in Waxhaw, North Carolina, students were given roles from the Civil War, then asked to write social media posts as their characters. 

Part of a display at Waxhaw Eelementary School shows pro-slavery tweets posted in a hallway of the school. (Fox46).

The students came up with hashtags like #SlaveryforLife and #SlaveryForever.

One post read, “@dontStopSlavery.” Another read “you may not [agree] with slavery but I do and I’m honest about it,” according to Fox46

Their teacher then asked them to select the contributions of which they were most proud, and they were displayed on a bulletin board in a hallway of the school. A photo of the board was shared online. 

Read More: ‘The Talk’ goes on short hiatus amid Sharon Osbourne review

According to a local news report, none of the tweets shared in the online post were anti-slavery. 

“I rolled over, saw the email, looked at the pictures, and thought immediately, ‘This is a slap in the face. I cannot believe this,'” Kimberly Morrison-Hansley, a parent of a Union County student, former school board member and current member of the local branch of the NAACP, told WCNC

Read More: Stacey Abrams calls Republican voter restriction efforts ‘Jim Crow in a suit’

Another parent, Brittany Buford, said she was not surprised that “racism and institutional racism continues to rear its ugly head in that community. There’s nothing else to call it. There’s no second side to this coin. Racism is racism.” 

Just last year, a Union County school board member resigned after making racist social media posts. 

The district issued a statement, saying: “Union County Public Schools is extremely concerned about the fourth-grade activity that took place at Waxhaw Elementary. This type of assignment is unacceptable, and we apologize for offending parents, staff, students and members of our community.”

Read More: Reggie Warren of R&B group Troop dead at 52

However, Buford, who has two children in schools there, remains concerned.

“If you believe as an educator, as an administrator,” she said, “that this is okay to display in the school outwardly, to display on social media, what other aggressions are being driven within that classroom?” 

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Culture” podcast? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download today!