Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School, a junior high school in Barnet, London, is in hot water for its curriculum on the slave trade. Rather than teaching students about slavery via textbooks and other traditional means, the Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School decided to have them create business plans for capturing and enslaving Africans, according to the London Evening Standard.
To make things as realistic as possible, students received imaginary tools, such as manacles, thumb screws, and even whips. Teachers then taught them lessons such as how to carry out slave raids, bribe African chiefs with goods and alcohol, and ultimately craft the business proposals for enslavement.
It wasn’t long before word got out about the slave “curriculum”: A 13-year-old Black female student told her mother about the lessons, “expressing concern and distress.” The Mother then complained to Ligali, a pan-African human rights organization, who filed a complaint against the school.
In response, Queen Elizabeth’s head teacher, KateWebster, issued the following apology:
On behalf of the school, I apologize unreservedly for the distress and anguish caused to [the student] and to her mother, as well as to you and others in your community who this material may have been shared with. Now I have had the opportunity to view the Powerpoint in its entirety, I share your concerns.
Despite having taught the slave “curriculum” since September 2010, Webster claimed she had no idea about the lessons until the girl’s mother filed her complaint. Additional steps have also been taken to discipline the staff member who devised the presentation.