In March, teacher Rebecca Antinozzi (above) came under fire and was fired after allegedly having her students do mock slave auctions where white students bought black classmates
A private school in New York, where a social studies teacher held mock slave auctions where white students & # 39; black & # 39; bought classmates, hire a diversity officer and change his disciplinary practices based on an agreement with the Attorney General.
The chapel school in the village of Bronxville in Westchester County reached an agreement with the Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday after the March incident.
In the agreement, the school will take steps to diversify its staff and student body.
In March, complaints from concerned parents filed after 5th-class teacher Rebecca Antinozzi had held the mock slave auctions in her class on March 5, leading to an investigation led by James' office.
The research showed that Antinozzi put black students against a wall with imaginary shackles and then auctioned them to their white classmates.
Antinozzi was fired after the incident.
On Wednesday, the Chapel School in the village of Bronxville in Bronxville (Westchester) agreed with the attorney general to hire a diversity officer and to change his disciplinary practices after an investigation into the anti-slave security incident.
& # 39; Every young person – regardless of race – deserves the opportunity to go to school without intimidation, prejudice and discrimination & # 39 ;, said New York Attorney General, Letitia James,
& # 39; The research found that the re-enactments of the teacher in the two classes had a profoundly negative effect on all students present – especially African-American students – and the school community in general, & # 39; James & # 39; office said.
"Lessons designed to separate children based on race have no place in New York classrooms, or in classrooms throughout this country," James said in a statement Wednesday.
Mother Vernex Harding (left) said that Antinozzi, who is white, has chosen three black students, including the son of Harding, to play slaves
Researchers also discovered that parents had previously complained about a lack of racial sensitivity at school and the unequal discipline of students based on race.
James said the office's investigation found earlier racist insensitive practices, including inadequate staff diversity and unfair punitive policies, according to New York Post.
& # 39; Every young person – regardless of race – deserves the opportunity to go to school without intimidation, bias and discrimination, & # 39; James said.
In a statement, school director Michael Schultz said the mental health school had made available after the incident and had arrived for anti-discrimination discussions and meetings with fifth-class families.
& # 39; We accept responsibility for the overall findings & # 39 ;, said Schultz, & # 39; and we are determined to implement all items outlined by the Attorney General to help us deepen our cultural competence. & # 39;
The lawyer of Antinozzi, however, says that she has been wrongly terminated and plans to file a lawsuit, according to her lawyer Jordan Brooks.
Brooks denied that the students organized the mock auction. Atinozzi has the support of parents and students, some of them African-American.
& # 39; As they will testify, Ms. Antinozzi is a dedicated, tireless, and beloved teacher who respects and cares for all her students, & said Brooks. & # 39; As she has consistently indicated, the history lesson is falsely marked and many parts of the lesson as reported did not occur. & # 39;
In an interview, Antinozzi denied the sham slave auction in March and said she was divorcing the black-and-white student to give a history lesson on how slaves were taken against their will, bidding them and forced to work.
& # 39; I know it was my intention never to hurt or insult or make anyone angry, & # 39; she said.
After the incident, parent Vernex Harding told the station WPIX that her son, who is black and goes to school, was traumatized by the controversial lesson about slavery.
Harding said her child was one of three African-American students chosen by Antinozzi, who is white, to play the role of slave.
The mother said her son later told her how he and the other students were being led down the corridor, where the teacher suggested placing imaginary chains on their necks and wrists and enthralling their ankles.
The black classers were then brought back to the class, where their white classmates were urged to bid on them as part of the sham.
In an email sent to parents who were following the incident, Chapel School Principal Michael Schultz described Antinozzi's lesson as & # 39; racially insensitive and offensive & # 39 ;.
The teacher trained by Fordham, who had been in the chapel for four years, was fired after the incident
The head of the school sent this email to the parents after the incident regarding the slavery lesson, which he & # 39; racially insensitive and offensive & # 39; called.
According to her profile on the website of the Chapel School, Antinozzi has given social studies on groups 3-5 over the past four years.
She holds a bachelor's degree in child studies from the University of Syracuse and a master's degree in elementary and special education from Fordham University.
Founded in 1947, the Chapel School serves 320-340 students a year from preschool to eighth grade. The tuition fees at the school range from $ 5,000 – $ 13,900 per year.
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