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Parent Upset Over “Slave Game” Played With Students in North Syracuse

By Staff


Bear Road Elementary

Bear Road Elementary

Talisha Fernandez, the parent of a Bear Road Elementary student in North Syracuse, said she’s upset her third grade daughter’s gym teacher played a “slave master” game with students, in an attempt to celebrate black history month.

“She said, ‘We played a slave master, slave catching type of game,'” Fernandez told Time Warner Cable news. “I had to sit down for a moment. I said, ‘Where did you play this game? At recess?’ No in gym.”

According to Fernandez, the goal of the game was for the students not to let the slave master catch them, while they ran through an obstacle course that represented the Underground Railroad.

If the students were caught, they had to sit in the middle of the gym.

“When you think back to people being hung and running away from the slave master, it wasn’t a game. This was real,” Fernandez stated.

“After reviewing the situation on the day I learned of it, I determined that the activity was inappropriate, and insensitive,” North Syracuse School District Superintendent Annette Speach said in a letter sent home to parents, after the school was notified of the situation. “It has been discontinued.”

According to Speach, previously, the game had been meant to teach students about the topic of slavery in a historical context.

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