Posted on March 15, 2018

Parents Pull Daughter, 7, out of School After She Portrayed a Racist Character in a Play for the Class

Anneta Konstantinides, Daily Mail, March 15, 2018

Parents pull daughter, 7, out of school after she portrayed a racist character in a play for the class – where she was the only white student – and told a black peer ‘Go home, you don’t belong here!’

Anneta Konstantinides, Daily Mail, March 15, 2018

A seven-year-old girl’s parents have pulled their daughter out of her Georgia elementary school after they watched her play a racist character in a student play.

Amber and Heath Bertram were horrified when they saw Anastasia on stage, holding up a sign that read ‘Go home!’ and ‘Cursed is the man who integrates!’

Anastasia, who was playing the role of a white child against school desegregation, took the microphone and yelled at a black peer: ‘Go away, you don’t belong here!’

Heath Bertram told that he was ‘shocked and appalled’ when he saw his daughter in the play at Burnett Elementary School.

Amber and Heath Bertram have pulled their daughter out of her elementary school in Douglasville, Georgia after they watched her play a racist character in a student play

Anastasia, who was playing the role of a white child against school desegregation, took the microphone and yelled at a black peer: ‘Go away, you don’t belong here!’

‘Other parents started looking at me,’ he said. ‘She is the only white girl in her class, and one of the very few in the whole school.’

‘Giving her the position of a white supremacist at the age of seven was unacceptable.’

Amber Bertram, who was out of town and saw a video of the play that her husband had filmed, said it left her ‘literally speechless’.

‘I was shaking,’ she said. ‘All I wanted to do was run to the school and ask them if they had lost their mind.’

‘I was in disbelief. I couldn’t believe that what I had witnessed was true.’

An African-American boy, holding a sign that said ‘Go back to Africa!’, also played the character of a student against Ruby Bridges, the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in the US.

Before Anastasia took the microphone, he told a group of girls on stage: ‘We don’t want our white children going to school with a black girl.’

Anastasia’s parents said they were told by her teacher, Mrs Jamila James, that their daughter had volunteered for the part after a peer struggled to learn the lines.

‘I was so excited when she volunteered to cover the role for another student,’ James wrote in a message to Amber. ‘She really stepped up and saved our play.’

But Amber was upset that she had not been contacted to give permission for the role before Anastasia went up on stage.

Amber, who reached out to James on a platform called ClassDoJo, told the teacher that Anastasia has always been taught to ‘help adults as much as possible’.

‘What she saw was the teacher needing help (according to you) and so she volunteered to help (according to you),’ the message reads.

‘At seven years old, there was absolutely no way possible she could have understood the compromising position she was putting herself in.’

Amber also revealed she was upset that Anastasia had been filmed and photographed holding a sign ‘telling black children to go away’.

‘This is not an image I want portrayed of my child,’ Amber told James. ‘Nor did she have consent to be photographed and videotaped in this play.’

‘The point still stands that this play did nothing but perpetuate the idea of racism and teach my child that the school sanctions her discriminating against anyone who doesn’t look like her.’

James apologized for the incident, telling the mother: ‘It was never my intention to isolate or make any racial group feel bad.’

But Amber said that after she sent a second email to the teacher regarding her concerns, her account on the platform was deleted. has reached out to James for comment.

The Bertrams decided to pull both their daughters out of the school following the incident.

‘We did not feel they could stay in an environment like that,’ Heath said.

‘It’s an environment that says it’s okay to talk that way to people because they look different than you.’

Amber said she feared the play could also have put Anastasia in trouble.

‘If she were to go out onto the playground the following day and tell a child to go away because they were black I can promise she would have been in trouble,’ she said.

‘But the school just put her on stage in front of her friends, teachers, peers, and other adults and taught her it was okay.’

‘Anastasia is seven years old, at this age she is just starting to separate the times when her stuffed animals fight and when her and her sister fight.’

‘But the school wants her, at seven, to differentiate between a play and real life.’

The girls’ transfer was approved by the district and they will start at a different school on Friday.

Burnett Elementary School has declined to comment on the incident.

The Bertrams said they were only contacted by Douglas County School District Superintendent Trent North after they took their story to the media.

‘I am calling to apologize. I was unaware of the treatment of your daughter,’ North said in a voicemail message left on Amber’s phone.

North has since confirmed that they are investigating the complaint.