Parents Outraged and Superintendent Apologizes After Mock 'Slave Auction' Held at North Carolina Middle School

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White students were reportedly pretending to sell their Black classmates, a report said.

A North Carolina school is under fire after middle school students performed a mock “slave auction,” where white students pretended to sell their Black classmates.

Staff and faculty were reportedly present during the mock auction that was also recorded on video, according to a racial equity group, the Chatham Organizing for Racial Equity,  WYFF4 News reported

The K-8 school where the incident occurred is J.S. Waters School in Goldston, NC, which is located about 50 miles southwest of Raleigh. The school has 195 students, and 68 percent are white, the   Associated Press reported

The auction appeared to be a student-led initiative, Meaww reported.

Several of the students involved in the mock “slave auction” were given a one-day suspension, according to reports. 

On Monday at the Chatham County School board meeting, local groups called on the board to address the incident and introduce new policies and require those responsible to apologize, the AP reported.

Additional requests made to the district by the coalition include raising penalties to school employees who engage in racists behaviors, and making it a fireable offense, the news outlet reported.

“These students were emboldened to not only commit brazen and overt acts of racism but to retaliate further and continue their aggression after serving a perfunctory one-day suspension,” the coalition said, WYFF4 reported. 

During the school board meeting, one parent said: "Some days I feel angered about what has happened, some days I feel sadness trying to grasp why are we still having these issues in 2022?” Meaww reported.

Chatham County Schools Superintendent Anthony Jackson apologized vehemently and promised accountability and new policy changes. 

”Actions such as these, they just do not reflect who we are as a school system,’ Jackson said.  “And I say, unapologetically, will not be tolerated in the school system.”

The school board unanimously approved these new protocols. Some of the new requirements include  “a full top to bottom review of our student code of conduct,” Jackson said. And, a district-wide training protocol that will establish communication with parents and local community organizers, the news outlet reported.

Parents and community members first became aware of the incident after a parent posted a Facebook post on March 4 detailing what her Black son had told her of the experience.

“We were made aware that this type of stuff seems to be the norm so much that he didn't think it was worth sharing,” the parent wrote, in part, CNN reported. “His friend 'went for $350' and another student was the Slavemaster because he 'knew how to handle them.'" the parents wrote. 

She also wrote that students also sang the n-word, the news outlet reported. 

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