The Crusader Newspaper Group

Missouri Teacher On Administrative Leave After Asking 5th Graders To ‘Set Price’ For Slaves

The teacher out of Blades Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri, gave students an in-class assignment where they were instructed to set a price for a slave.

By Breanna Edwards, ESSENCE

A Missouri elementary school teacher has been placed on administrative leave after giving 5th-grade students an assignment asking them to “set your price for a slave.”

According to NBC News, the assignment came from in-class work given during a Social Studies class last week at Blades Elementary School in St. Louis.

A Facebook user going by the name Lee Hart posted a picture of the assignment, with a caption slamming the project.

“This was supposedly a westward expansion lesson. Some were given food, wood, water and…slaves!!!!!!!!!!!” Hart wrote in the post describing the assignment as “wrong on so many levels.”

The school principal, Jeremy Booker, said that the teacher was trying to teach students about “market practices” and the class was “learning about having goods, needing goods and obtaining goods and how that influenced early settlement in America,” the report notes.

“Some students who participated in this assignment were prompted to consider how plantation owners traded for goods and slaves,” Booker added in a letter sent out to the school community.

The teacher, he added, has since “expressed significant remorse,” over the “culturally insensitive” assignment.

Booker added that all teachers and staff will undergo “professional development on cultural bias”

This article originally appeared in ESSENCE.

Recent News

Scroll to Top