A Black Mississippi mom is seeking accountability from her son's school after his teacher gave him the "monkey award" during a school ceremony.
According to WMC News, Shemekia Ellis is demanding action for the "monkey award" her Black son Braylen received for "entertaining others" in class at Batesville Elementary.
When Ellis met with school officials after the incident, the teacher who handed down the award said she had no prior knowledge about the racial stereotypes associated with calling Black people "monkeys."
"I'm still not happy about it," Ellis told WMC. "I'm angry because I don't understand why my son got the monkey award when he received an award that he completed Pre-K."
Batesville's principal said that Braylen received the award during an animal-themed ceremony, according to the mom's account. It's unknown whether Braylen's peers were also awarded similar distinctions.
Ellis said the principal claimed the preschool teacher gave the "monkey award" to Braylen for "his energy." However, the Mississippi mom insists the certificate was for "entertainment."
Per WMC News, school administrators promised that they wouldn't let this type of incident occur in the future. Ellis hasn't received an apology, and it is unknown whether the school plans to take any action regarding the award.
"These teachers have messed up. They were wrong," Ellis said. "The superintendent knew they were wrong. The principal knew they were wrong. They need to be held accountable for what they have done."