Leon Springs Elementary school sparks fury with lesson segregating kids by hair color

The students were divided according to hair color and one group was told they were privileged,leaving the others to clean up after them


                            Leon Springs Elementary school sparks fury with lesson segregating kids by hair color
Leon Springs Elementary in San Antonio held the class on segregation in January (Northside Independent School District website)
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Parents of a Texas elementary school are furious after their children were left scared and on the verge of tearing up after an immersive introduction to segregation class before being shown autopsy photos of four Black children murdered by the Ku Klux Klan.

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Leon Springs Elementary school in San Antonio, which has 524 pupils from kindergarten to fifth grade, was taught about segregation in January. During the class, the children were separated into groups of dark-haired and fair-haired students. They were then given a series of tasks and duties. The dark-haired students were deemed privileged and told they were superior, with those who had blond or red hair deemed less intelligent and inferior. Both sets of students were given a puzzle to complete, but the light-haired students had a piece missing. The light-haired students also had to clean up after the other group at the end of the exercise.

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The class was based on an exercise devised in the 1970s by a teacher named Jane Elliott. His original exercise labeled students as inferior or superior based solely on the color of their eyes and exposed them to the experience of being a minority.

In an interview with News4SA, the parents of a student, Mike and Brandi Lininger, told that their ten-year-old daughter was upset by the lesson and that some of her classmates were reduced to tears. Brandi Linger said, "She was hurt, her friends, and she named to the principal and to district officials, names of her friends that were crying."

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The parents revealed that their daughter's class was also shown Spike Lee's 1997 documentary, 4 Little Girls, about the 1963 bombing of an Alabama church by the KKK. This was the incident in which four African-American girls around the same ages as the class between the ages of 11 and 14 died in the attack. The film includes graphic autopsy photos of the girls' bodies.

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The 4 little girls who died in KKK Chruch bombing. (Spark Lee's documentary, 4 Little girls)

 

The class teacher said she fast-forwarded the autopsy pictures, but the Liningers claim otherwise. Mike Lininger said, "The things that she said that she skipped over, my daughter was able to describe to us to a T. So that night our daughter was unable to go to sleep in our own room, she was scared."

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The Liningers said they were angry that no advance warning was given to them as to what they were going to teach their children."They send us notes and newsletters about everything else. Your child is going to see The Polar Express and it's pajama day on Friday before winter break, and we get no notice that they're going to do a social experiment on segregation," said Brandi Lininger.

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What did the school authorities say?

Northside Independent School District, told News4SA that they had reviewed the complaints about the lesson from the Liningers, which were confirmed by another family - and decided not to repeat the class.

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"The activity and video in question were part of a larger fifth-grade project-based lesson around the inequity of segregation," the school said in a statement."While the campus did receive positive feedback from several parents, the district and campus administration recognize the parent's concerns and agree that the activity and video are not age-appropriate and will not be used again."

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