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Va. 4th grade teacher stages mock slave auction

April 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A teacher in Norfolk, Va., is taking criticism for having her fourth grade class stage a mock slave auction.

The idea was apparently to teach the students a lesson about the civil war.

Students, including this one, say she separated the black and mixed-race students from the white students and, in effect, put them up for sale.

"It's uneasy because I'm an African American. I can imagine being in school and basically made fun of in front of everybody," said Jacole Graves, a concerned parent.

The principal sent home a letter saying, while the lesson was inappropriate, the teacher's actions were well-intended.

The school district will only say "personnel action" is being taken with the teacher.

"This was wrong," said Elizabeth Mather, a district spokeswoman. "It wasn't the right thing to do in the classroom environment."