A Howard County, Maryland English teacher returned from a four-day administrative leave Tuesday after telling students to write a “fun” slave song as part of a school lesson on abolitionist Frederick Douglass last week, reports the Baltimore Sun.
Howard County Superintendent Renee Foose, who placed the unidentified Mount Hebron High School educator on administrative leave until the school’s investigation concluded on Tuesday, apologized for the incident and said the “assignment was not part of the school system’s official curriculum.” Students and Black community leaders were upset, with this event being “the latest in a string of racially charged incidents in the school system,” writes the news outlet:
African-American leaders in the county said they were disturbed by the teacher encouraging students in written instructions for the assignment to “have fun” and “entertain us all.”
Larry Walker, president of the African American Community Roundtable, said he believed the incident “reflects a culture of insensitivity that is prevalent in our country, not just Howard County.”
He believes the district’s administration hasn’t properly addressed the recent incidents.
Howard County Public Schools also investigated a racially offensive post on social media app iFunny from a high school student earlier this month, reports ABC2 News.