Christine Shand was shocked when her daughter came home from Haverstraw Middle School one recent afternoon and burst into tears.Good luck with that.
But when she heard why her daughter, Gabrielle, was crying, she became angry. During a Nov. 18 seventh-grade history lesson on slavery, the teacher, Eileen Bernstein, who is white, selected two black students - one of whom was 13-year-old Gabrielle - taped their hands and feet, and had them crawl into the space under a desk to simulate what it must have been like for slaves transported in ships' holds during the voyage to America.
Gabrielle was emotionally hurt and embarrassed and remains uncomfortable in the class, Shand sid.
Shand attended a meeting at the school yesterday with the principal, Avis Shelby, Bernstein and others.
Shelby said she has talked to the teacher about the incident. Bernstein meant to demonstrate the lesson, and models and demonstrations and re-enactments "are used all the time in teaching, and that was her intent," Shelby said yesterday.
In retrospect, the teacher "realizes that that was not a good choice and we've rectified the situation in terms of not using that simulation again," she added.
There have been no complaints other than that of Shand, who came to the meeting with a representative of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, but Shelby said the school was taking the matter seriously.
"Mrs. Bernstein is very regretful about this incident ... that was certainly not her intent for this young lady to be uncomfortable, and she'll be working with myself and the district, too, and also with the Shands, to try to rectify the situation," Shelby said.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Stupid Teacher Tricks: Teaching a Lesson on Slavery By Tying Up Black Students
This idiot Eileen Bernstein may want to just change her name and get out of town now. Seriously, is this some kind of twisted joke? She can't be this clueless to think binding black kids by the hands and feet is a useful part of teaching a lesson on slavery. You can bet your last dollar Al Sharpton will be at that school by the end of the day looking for some face time.