Black Parents Demand Answers After School Holds Mock 'Slave Auction'

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A school in North Carolina is coming under fire after it held a mock “slave auction,” and according to Black parents in the community, it’s just one example of racist incidents targeting their students. 

Ashley Palmer is one of those parents. Palmer told The News & Observer, that her son and other Black students the J.S. Waters School in Chatham County were recently “sold” at the mock auction. 

In a post to Facebook, Palmer detailed how her son told her that “his friend went for $350” and that one of the school’s 200 K-8 students was selected to be the “Slavemaster” because “he knew how to handle them,” Palmer wrote in the post.

“We even have a video of students harmonizing the N word. Since when were children so blatantly racist?” 

Black leaders in the community are speaking out in a news conference on Monday (March 14). 

“We really want the public at-large to know the situation in Chatham County currently,” Carl Thompson, executive member of the West Chatham chapter of the NAACP told The News & Observer

“We also want the community at-large to know that the African American leadership in Chatham County has come together and we’re demanding that these kinds of incidents stop. The school board and administration must cause these situations to cease,” Thompson added. 

The local civil rights leader also described several other racist bullying incidents including a time when a Black student was cornered by a group of white students all chanting the N-word and dropping pamphlets with racist language on the floor. 

On social media, a white Chatham County student posed on the ground while another white student gestured as if they were holding a gun over them. “Black history month,” the caption read. 

What surprises many people in this community is the boldness with which these students acted,” Thompson said. “They seem to have little care about the damage they do to African American students to which their acts are directed.” 

The community is “no longer asking,” Thompson, who used to serve as county commissioner said, “We’re demanding that action take place.” 

So far, Superintendent Anthony Jackson, who is Black, sent a letter to families last week acknowledging “unacceptable incidents” while promising to hold those “who are acting outside of our expectations” accountable. 

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