Roommates, a Birmingham, MI teacher, faces disciplinary actions and is on administrative leave after assigning students at Roeper School a worksheet titled “Apes, Monkeys, and Lemurs: An Introduction to Primates.”
As we previously reported, the worksheet distributed last week compared former US President Barack Obama to primates. The school has released a statement to CNN condemning the unnamed Biology teacher’s actions. “The teacher’s choice to use the curriculum with the disturbing racial offense…was inconsistent with the school’s mission and philosophy,” the Roeper School said.
“We sincerely apologize for its use and the harm it has caused,” the statement continued. “While the teacher has taken responsibility and admits the mistake of not properly vetting the resource, we know that is not enough, and she has been placed on administrative leave until further notice.”
CNN also obtained a copy of a letter that Head of School David Feldman sent home to Roeper parents on May 17th, sincerely regretting the use of the worksheet and the harm it caused. The letter read, “We talk about our commitment to doing the important work of educating ourselves and the community in diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, and yet on this occasion, we did not live up to our core values.”
It continued, “Our students deserve to learn in an environment that is safe and where they are treated with dignity. And our adults must continue to model how to listen when a community member is hurt, apologize when necessary, and take action to ensure it does not happen again.” CNN states the worksheet originated from a Duke University undergraduate assignment posted on the school of anthropology’s website. Roeper school plans to immediately implement curriculum and professional development focused on racial bias and cultural competencies.
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