While Black Lives Matter protests continue across the world, Parklands College failed to read the room with an exercise that required learners to design a slave auction poster.
Parklands College, a school in Cape Town, South Africa has issued an apology after it came under fire for a racist classroom activity given to Grade 7 learners to complete. The activity, titled "Fun Activity", required that learners design a poster advertising a slave auction that took place in the 1800s. The matter is now reportedly under investigation, according to News24.
The incident came into the spotlight after a parent with a child at the school took to Facebook to condemn the school.
In a recent statement, Parklands College Principle, Carel Kriek, said the following:
"The assignment was issued before lockdown and pupils were expected to hand it last week. We have explained to many people and apologised to those who are offended. I don't think the intention of CAPS for slavery topic is to put anyone in a bad light to play one race against the other. It is something that we are supposed to do as a primary school. We removed it three years ago and Umalusi forced us to put it back in our curriculum."
Umalusi is the official body that is responsible for accrediting private schools as well as private assessment bodies that offer tuition for qualifications.
The incident has occurred during a time where the world over is battling with systemic racism and the targeting of the Black community. With the continued Black Lives Matter protests in America, and now several other countries in solidarity, tone deaf incidents such as these only serve to further highlight just how deep the roots of racism run.
The conversation has also led to many South Africans on social media sharing their experiences of racism at various high schools under the banner #RacismInSAHighSchools. Read some of their reactions below:
#racisminSAhighschools “don’t bring your Soweto mentality here.” Phrase used in dealing with loud chatter amongst students— ISSS OUR CHANCE!!! (@ISSS OUR CHANCE!!!)1591128890.0
On the topic of #RACISMINSAHIGHSCHOOLS I vividly remember the boys in my school explicitly saying that they would… https://t.co/Kq654xAOrX— Minister of Menstruation 🩸 (@Minister of Menstruation 🩸)1591176938.0
Remember when Northcliff removed isiZulu as a subject & Afrikaans was mandatory. I won't speculate coz I want an ex… https://t.co/7xajIxrnfc— Mamello'sMaramalade (@Mamello'sMaramalade)1591213885.0
#racisminSAhighschools I was speaking Sotho to my friend and these nb girls thought that we were talking about them… https://t.co/EbIYhpqG5e— Khahliso Myataza (@Khahliso Myataza)1591128502.0
#racisminSAhighschools isn’t only about the directly racist incidences. It’s about race-based jokes in schools that… https://t.co/6sFtbNKeel— Yaaseen Mahomed (@Yaaseen Mahomed)1591124614.0