Chicago’s Barrington High School has released an apology for the actions of a group of teens who depicted a slave auction during a skit representing the school.
The skit occurred Friday during the 2016 Illinois Junior Classical Convention, an event that highlights the cultures of “classical antiquity,” NBC Chicago reports. During the introductory segment, two students engaged in a skit that portrayed a slave auction, in which they attempted to sell a “Barrington bro” wearing a chain around his neck to the audience.
A parent took cell phone footage of the uncomfortable moment.
Kenwood Academy parent Danielle McDaniels, who was in the audience watching the skit, said she could not believe her eyes. “Watching a live slave auction, complete with chains, it was a bit much. It was overwhelming,” McDaniels recalled.
The school released an apology:
“The Barrington School District offers sincere apologies to those offended by a skit our high school Latin students conducted at the Illinois Junior Classical Convention in Itasca this weekend,” the school said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
“Their depiction of slavery as it was practiced by ancient Greeks and Romans unintentionally but understandably evoked strong emotions among a diverse audience,” it said. “We agree with the concern and are reviewing the incident with students and staff who were involved.”
In an attempt to make amends, the school posted a video about diversity to its Facebook page.
The teacher who coached the teens also apologized for his role in the skit.