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Bad Apple

Illustration for article titled Bad Apple

Eileen Bernstein, a teacher in Haverstraw, N.Y., has apologized after binding the hands and feet of two African-American girls in her classroom in an attempt to "enliven a seventh-grade discussion of slavery." Bernstein, who is white, reportedly bound the two girls and had them crawl under desks in order to simulate the slave ship experience for the rest of her students. Gabrielle Shand, one of the bound students, was extremely upset by the experience (and rightfully so) and "burst into tears at home." Her mother, Christine Shand, told the New York Times: ''It doesn't matter the color of the kids, it's just not right to tie them up. My daughter is still upset, still embarrassed. She didn't go to school today.'' William Aldridge, director of a local chapter of the NAACP, agrees, noting that Bernstein only apologized "'because Gabrielle was upset, not because she admitted she did something wrong.'' Bernstein has not been suspended from her position; the Shands are still considering whether or not to file a lawsuit. [NYTimes]


Image via EthicsCrisis.

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I know this teacher thought she was pulling an "O! Captain! My Captain!" moment, but, yeah no. First off, common sense, woman. Second, don't pretend that light bondage and curling up under a desk can come even CLOSE to the trauma and horror of slave ships. That's like telling your kids to skip lunch and tell them "That's kind of what Auschwitz was like."