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Parent outraged after alleged racist joke during slavery lesson at Rochester Hills school

Posted: 5:11 PM, Mar 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-21 21:11:48Z

A history lesson about slavery at Meadow Brook Elementary School in Rochester has the teacher in hot water with parents.

One mother said students and the teacher treated it like a joke.

"My thing is, what's next? Is she going to bring in a gas chamber and recreate the Holocaust?" asked mother Jacquelyn Night-Oliver. "What's really going on?"

The alleged incident unfolded Tuesday afternoon inside a fifth grade classroom. 

Night-Oliver describes it as having the students lay down on the floor and "show how uncomfortable it was on the slavery ships." 

"I just think it was a bit much," she said.

But Night-Oliver said it didn't stop there. She said her daughter, one of four African-American students in a predominantly white class, had to listen to jokes made by other students. She says the teacher also took part in the jokes.

"I guess the way she had them laying down, she didn't think it was a laughing matter."

The superintendent of Rochester Community Schools released the following statement in regards to the incident: 

Night-Oliver said she wasn't very comforted by the school's response.

"As a teacher and as an adult, I would think you know to step in and say this is not a laughing matter," she said. "But for her to laugh with them, I was taken aback by that."

She said she doesn't want anyone to lose their job, she just wants to prevent this from happening again.