Teacher on leave after allegedly asking black students to research ‘slave games’

Teacher on leave after asking black students to research ‘slave games’

SHOREWOOD, WI (WITI/CNN) - A Wisconsin teacher has been placed on leave after students and parents allege the educator separated students by race and encouraged African-Americans to research "slave games."

MaHailey Stephens is in seventh grade at Shorewood Intermediate School.

"I went to my mom, I’m like, ‘mom, what are slave games?’" said MaHailey.

She and other students allege they were separated into groups based on their race.

“She told us to all go get into our groups and then she told us that she would help us research slave games,” MaHailey said.

The incident happened on April 1. The superintendent said the school was made aware on April 3.

The school sent a letter to parents saying, “a teacher shared an activity with students on the subject of games from around the world.”

They also said that “allegations were made that the teacher had suggested to African-American students in the class that they research games that had been played by enslaved children.”

The administration “immediately launched an internal investigation into the matter.”

MaHailey’s mother Dr. Reshunda Stephens said this sort of thing has happened before. Her older daughter had the same teacher last year.

"I’ve never heard of such a thing. I never knew slaves had opportunities to play games," Stephens said. "This child was asked to be part of the colored club."

The teacher has been put on indefinite leave.

“How many more times do people have to feel uncomfortable until change happens?” MaHailey said.

“We do have excellent teachers in our district, but we also have some mindsets that we need to challenge,” her mother said.

The teacher has not commented on what happened.

The school district said the investigation is ongoing.

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