Madison’s Trust Elementary School principal, David Stewart, issued a letter of apology on February 12, after the school received complaints that students participated in a “runaway slave” activity during gym class.
Loudoun County NAACP president, Pastor Michelle Thomas, caught wind of the complaints, and presented to the school board on February 12. Thomas said students had to choose whether they wanted to be a slave, a sharecropper, or a land owner. “Slavery was not a joke. You didn’t get to choose. Stop giving those insensitive exercises to our children. They don’t need to relive slavery,” said Thomas.
Pastor Thomas also reported that since taking her position on January 1, the Loudoun County NAACP has received 20 complaints about racism toward African American students in the county’s school system.
“This incident has revealed a need for us to explore how we can ensure this will not be repeated,” said Stewart in his letter. “A next step for us, as a school, involves the formation of an equity/culturally responsive team, which will be comprised of school personnel and parent representatives.”
The gym teacher’s identity has yet to be revealed.
The news of the “runaway slave” activity came just one week after the Loudoun County School Board passed its fiscal school year budget, which included money toward improving the schools’ equity practices.