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North Carolina Elementary School Apologizes For Having 4th Graders Write Pro-Slavery Twitter Hashtags For Civil War Assignment

North Carolina Elementary School Apologizes For Having 4th Graders Write Pro-Slavery Twitter Hashtags For Civil War Assignment

North Carolina Elementary School Apologizes For Having 4th Graders Write Pro-Slavery Twitter Hashtags For Civil War Assignment

A North Carolina school district has released an apology after students at a elementary school that gave students pro-slavery tweets and hashtags for a Civil War-era assignment.

Waxhaw Elementary School students are encouraged to adopt personas from the Civil War era, and write mock tweets from the perspectives of the characters. A photo posted on the school’s Facebook page showed images of some of the offensive, pro-slavery mock tweets that were displayed in a classroom wall as something students were “most proud of.” Students used hashtags like #SlaveryforLife and #SlaveryForever. The post has since been deleted. In a statement the school district called the assignment “unacceptable.”

“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.”

The assignment comes after Black History Month, when 4th grade students were instructed to come up with tweets from the perspective of a historical figure. According to the Facebook post, students were studying “North Carolinians that had different roles and perspectives on the Civil War.”

One student wrote their tweet under the handle “@dontStopSlavery” and said, “you may not agree with slavery but I do and I’m honest about it. #Slaveryforlife” Another student chose the name “Confederate4life” and wrote, “why do we need to leave the county. We can stay and our slaves! #SLAVERYFOREVER.”

Kimberly Morrison-Hansley with the Union County NAACP told Fox 46 “This is a slap in the face.”

“The district has to take this very seriously. Someone needs to say something. And most of all, it needs to be an apology. And assure us it won’t happen again” she said.

A spokesperson Tahira Stalberte said the assignment was supposed to “help students analyze events from the Pre-Colonial period to Reconstruction through the perspective of a key historical figure.”

None of the tweets featured in the photo of the classroom display was an anti-slavery tweet. The news station reached out to the school to clarify which historical figures were suppose to be represented in the assignment, but hasn’t received an answer. Parents have sent letters expressing their outrage over the assignment.

“You have these kids walking by this every single day,” parent Brittany Buford said. “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.”

A open letter WCNC Charlotte received, one parent criticized the school.

“Put into practice listening to and raising up marginalized communities by bringing them to the table. Only once you put that into practice will you see results where it counts – raising up and supporting all of your students, parents, and this community,” the parent wrote. “You have not brought any community members to the table that represent my community. Choosing people who ideals align to yours and your comfort…will lead us back here every time.”

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