A Long Island middle school teacher has apologized for instructing students to add “funny” captions to photos of former slaves. The unidentified teacher had reportedly told students to “make it funny” and “don’t bore me” while explaining the assignment, resulting in some students captioning photos of sharecroppers working in fields with phrases like “make that money” and “black girl magic,” according to a Facebook post by one student’s grandmother. Concerned parents contacted the John W. Dodd Middle School in Freeport and the teacher was put on administrative duties when an investigation was launched last Friday.
The superintendent of Freeport Public Schools, Dr. Kishore Kuncham, on Tuesday slammed the teacher's assignment as “unacceptable,” according to NBC News. “Aside from the fact that this is a poor lesson, it is an insensitive trivialization of a deeply painful era for African Americans in this country, and it is unacceptable,” Kuncham said. The teacher also issued an apology: “It is with the deepest sense of respect that I apologize to the students, families and larger Freeport community for my insensitive words and actions last week... I must work hard to rebuild trust from my students, colleagues and the community.”