SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — A Memphis mom is considering homeschooling for her children after she says her 10-year-old son was shown graphic photos of George Floyd’s death.
Her son, Matthew Anchor, attended virtual classes at Coleman School in Raleigh. She said her son was doing a virtual class when he ran from the screen because he felt like the instruction was inappropriate.
“They’re fueling the fire. With all the hate in the world already, we don’t need the schools in it. I never expected them to teach something like this,” said Debby Perry.
She said he was shown inappropriate photos by the teacher and the class held discussions that shouldn’t be shown to young children.
“A lot of emotions went through my head. I was confused,” said 10-year old Matthew Anchor.
Anchor said the teacher showed images and talked about the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Trayvon Martin, people whose deaths sparked nationwide protests.
“With everything going on and all the hate in the world right now, I don’t want them fueling my kid,” said Perry.
It’s raised a lot of questions on social media about whether the topic is appropriate for elementary school students. The charter school says they’re following a curriculum that they’ve set in place for years.
“We understand the subject is sensitive and that injustices are happening all over the country. Scholars were shown images of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Trayvon Martin. All victims of murder by the hands of law enforcement or vigilantism. The scholars were asked to verbalize if they were viewing justice or injustice. It is never our intent to offend anyone, but rather inform and create a culture of inclusivity and truth.”
Perry said her son was withdrawn from the school and that she’ll get paperwork in the mail.
“I’ve called Shelby county, and they’re actually zoned at this school even though Shelby county don’t own the school, so the only conclusion we’ve come up with is homeschooling,” said Perry.
A representative with Journey Community Schools said they’re in constant communication to move forward.
“We value input from our families regarding our curriculum and take all concerns seriously. We are committed to an inclusive culture of open dialogue,” said Brian Malone representing Journey Community Schools.
Executive Director Dr. Nickalous Manning sent FOX13 the following statement:
A parent has shared a video on social media of one of our teachers discussing our vetted Language Arts curriculum, which features social justice lessons. The video shows a short snippet of a full lesson that included rich discussion regarding racism, sexism, discriminatory practices, and current events.
We know that this subject matter is sensitive and that serious injustices are happening all over the country – especially to black and brown people. Scholars were shown images of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Trayvon Martin. All victims of murder by the hands of law enforcement or vigilantism. The scholars were asked to verbalize if they were viewing justice or injustice. It is never our intent to offend anyone, but rather inform and create a culture of inclusivity and truth. Our children are being exposed to so much in these unprecedented times, and we as the Journey Community will effectively do our part to inform our scholars to prepare them for the real world.
As educators, our lessons are created to:
- · Allow for a spirit of open inquiry and sharing in discussion
- · Create curiosity and a desire to understand.
- · Invite students to share their reactions and feelings.
- · Encourage students to ask their authentic questions
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