School Condemned For Holding Mock ‘Slave Auction’ Of Black Students

School Condemned For Holding Mock ‘Slave Auction’ Of Black Students

The Chatham School District Superintendent offered an apology before presenting the school board with an action plan.

A parent was shocked after she learned that her son and his fellow black students were “sold” at a mock “slave auction” by their white classmates at a North Carolina school. Ashley Palmer took to Facebook, writing: You never know what they may be going through. To say we have had a rough week is an understatement. Our son experienced a slave auction by his classmates and when he opened up we were made aware that this type of stuff seems to be the norm so much that he didn’t think it was worth sharing. His friend “went for $350” and another student was the Slavemaster because he “knew how to handle them.” We even have a video of students harmonizing the N word. Since when were children so blatantly racist? Why is this culture acceptable? Chatham County was made aware and is intervening but hug your babies especially the ones that are subject to racism by students and faculty. Parents teach your kids that this behavior isn’t ok. Teach them also that SILENCE IS COMPLICITY! Laughter is even worse! Thankfully Jeremiah is a strong unapologetically black young man and I’m so proud of how tactfully he has handled these repulsive situations. He is stronger than ever and we will continue to do our part to make sure every racist child and faculty member is reported for every blatant act and microagression he experiences!


A group called Chatham Organizing for Racial Equity said in a press release that the auction involved middle school students and occurred “in the presence of staff and faculty, and while being filmed," the News & Observer reported. Several students, parents, and community members spoke to the Chatham County School Board about their experiences with racism and concerns over the incident.” Chatham School District Superintendent Anthony Jackson apologized at a Monday night board meeting. “I want to offer an apology…to every single student who has ever felt unsafe while in our care, to every student who has ever felt demeaned, disrespected or marginalized because of their race, ethnicity, sex, gender, religion or disability. In Chatham County schools, we proudly boast that diversity is our strength, and moving forward it will be our intentional focus to ensure that this celebration includes everyone.”


Jackson's action plan included changes in the district policy to how discriminatory situations would be handled from start to finish. It called for accountability for racist incidents in schools, support services for students, and training for staff. The steps will include notifying parents, investigating the matter, calling for disciplinary action as well social support and resources for victims along with an after-action plan. The board voted unanimously to adopt his action plan.


Christy Wagner, a parent of another Black student who was “sold” in the mock slave auction, added, “The reality is these acts of racism are not only happening here in Chatham County but across North Carolina and across the country,” said Wagner. “More should be done around addressing racism in schools because no parent should have to stand here after hearing their son was sold in a slave trade at school.”


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