In the age of Donald Trump, the President who was sued during his campaign for banning Blacks and Hispanics from his housing projects, an unnamed substitute teacher in New Jersey conducted and videotaped a mock Slave Auction this week in which a fifth grade black male student was "sold." The substitute, who did not have the approval of Jefferson School at the Maplewood School District of Maplewood, N.J. to conduct the mock auction, did not state what their rationale was for doing so.

Teachable moment

The regular classroom teacher, also unnamed, stated that the incident could be used as a "teachable moment to elaborate on the gravity of this part in our history," according to the Huffington Post.

Parents react

Two parents were interviewed about their reactions to the controversial incident. One parent, Tracey Jarmon-Woods, talked about the longterm effects that this humiliating auction will have on the boy who was sold: “If you’re demoralized — sold on a block in 2017 — it may affect you the rest of your life," according to the Huffington Post. Another parent, who chose not to divulge their name, discussed how "disgusted" they were with the entire matter: “I’m disgusted, really disgusted a child was bought," according to the Huffington Post. That parent also continued by sharing that they did not feel that the auction made any sense.

Superintendent sends a letter

Although a letter from the school district's communications director did not include an apology, the District Superintendent, John Ramos, did apologize for the incident at a school board meeting.

The superintendent also sent a letter to parents in the district in which he described the students as reacting to the video "lightly." Ramos elaborated and stated that the "jovial nature of the video" demonstrates that students did not understand the "barbarity" that denotes a slave auction. Then, Ramos, like the regular classroom teacher, also stated that he believed that the incident can be used to teach students and help them "to learn and grow."

Shortly before the slave auction was another controversial incident involving race, also in the Maplewood School District.

In that incident, students created posters for slave auctions. It has not yet been revealed if the State Attorney General or State Superintendent of Schools is going to send intervention specialists to the Maplewood School District to inservice the District employees on race relations and cultural sensitivity.

School children protest Dr. Suess' racist past

Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago school children distributed flyers in protest of Theodor Geisel, more popularly known as "Dr. Suess," for his racist past. The protest was conducted in conjunction with the National Read Across America event, which is conducted at schools nationwide once a year. The children distributed flyers that depicted Geisel's racist past and discussed his bigoted cartoons that he used to draw before he adopted the pseudonym, "Dr. Suess."