I’m saying, what’s wrong with people? This is presumptuous because who in their right mind would portray the eternal President Barack Obama as a monkey?
Well, that’s what an Oakland County teacher did. Although obvious racism has not gone unnoticed. Roper’s school leadership has admitted racially motivated crime, saying it was caught after he was given an assignment in his high school class last week.
Caroline Lett, the school’s director of diversity, said the worksheet was delivered May 11, and the morning after, the school received a letter from a parent who was disturbed by the content of the assignment.
“The next morning, we were warned that it was out, we discussed it ourselves and talked to the teacher immediately,” said Lett, who has worked at the school for 29 years. “It’s not something we’ve seen before and we’re not used to.”
The worksheet came out for two roles in the biology class, which had about 30 students. It was included in a 130-page lesson plan from Duke University, entitled “Apes, monkeys and lemurs, an introduction to primates.”
“It was a mistake and even more amazing because we are committed to training our staff,” said Clay Thomas, chair of the school board with the school’s three daughters. “It comes as a big shock to our entire community, especially considering our history.”
The school leadership apologized, saying the curriculum was “completely inconsistent with our school’s philosophy and mission. The teacher took responsibility and admitted the mistake of not properly verifying resources. He was placed on administrative leave.”
Bloomfield Hills has Roper’s lower school and administrative office, and Birmingham has a middle and high school. The leadership added that the school was founded in 1941 by George and Annemarie Roper, who had fled Germany to escape Nazi persecution. They founded the school to educate children to be thoughtful, humane adults.
The school added that it is implementing a more thorough review of its curriculum and continues to develop professionals for both faculty and staff in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. Development will mainly focus on racial bias and administrators. Counseling and support resources were provided to the students.
“We will continue to educate our teachers and support our students so that something like this does not happen again,” said Thomas.