Posted on September 16, 2019

Indiana School Cancels Slave Ship Lesson After Public Outcry

AP, September 15, 2019

An Indiana middle school’s planned “Slave Ship” history exercise has been canceled following an outcry by parents upset that the lesson called for students to portray bound, enslaved Africans aboard a vessel returning to the Americas.

The proposed role-playing exercise at Western Middle School would have had students re-enacting the Middle Passage, in which millions of Africans were kidnapped, shipped across the Atlantic in dire conditions and sold into slavery.

The school’s eighth-grade social studies teacher, Kevin Pax, had sent a letter to parents detailing the class at the middle school in Russiaville, about 45 miles (70 kilometers) north of Indianapolis. But his letter triggered an outcry with worried parents reaching out to the school and posting their concerns on social media.


Pax’s letter had informed parents that participating students would have endured raised voices, loosely bound wrists, threats and detestable speech. {snip}


Western Schools Superintendent Randy McCracken noted that Pax has been doing the “Slave Ship” activity with students for years.