A Michigan teacher has been furloughed after including a photo of former President Barack Obama in a lesson on ‘monkeys, monkeys and lemurs’ and asking students to identify the primate, officials have confirmed. school
The teacher, who has not been named, works at the Birmingham, Michigan campus of the Roeper School, just outside Detroit.
A photo from the mission, which has been widely shared on social media, is titled “An introduction to primates!”
It features seven photos and a question: “Who is who?” Which of the following are primates? (Check all boxes)”
One of the photos is of the former president, the first African-American elected to the White House.
“It grossed me out – I couldn’t believe it,” Carolyn Lett, the school’s diversity director, told local broadcaster WJBK-TV. “When I first saw it, I try to make sense of it myself.”
As it happens
Get updates on the coronavirus pandemic and other news as they happen with our free email alerts.
About 30 students received the assignment. According to Lett, the worksheet was assigned to students last week.
On Thursday, the school was forced to close after receiving online threats. Police were called for additional security, clickondetroit.com reported.
It reopened the next day.
In a statement shared with the press, school officials “sincerely” apologized and confirmed that the teacher had been placed on leave.
“On behalf of the administration of Roeper School, we want to acknowledge the disturbing racial infraction contained in an assignment with a high school class last week. The choice to use this program was completely inconsistent with the philosophy and mission of our school and we sincerely apologize for its use and the harm it has caused,” the statement read.
“Although the teacher has taken responsibility and admits the mistake of not properly vetting the resource, we know this is not enough and she has been placed on administrative leave until further notice,” the officials added. from school.
Roeper is the nation’s oldest school for gifted children, according to its website, and it caters to students of diverse ethnicities, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds.