CERRITOS (CBSLA) — Students tied up? Staff acting as slave ship captains?

As KCAL9/CBS2’s Michele Gile reports, a high school in Cerritos is under fire after a controversial student history project about slavery.

Whitney High School junior Timothy Reyes had his hands taped together and was a part of a slave ship reenactment when he was an 8th grader on the Cerritos campus.

A mother complained recently after getting an email from her son’s teacher explaining the “unique classroom activity,” which was to be a surprise. Staff would act as slave ship captains, the email described, and the children slaves.

After lining the kids up, the note said, they’d “use masking tape to ‘tie’ their wrists together, make them lay on the ground, and in a dark room have them watch a clip from the film ‘Roots.’ ”

LaMonica Bryson, a Whitney High English teacher agrees with the decision to pull the activity from campus which students said was announced Monday.

“I think there are other ways to teach tolerance and maybe even better ways and best practices to broach these sensitive topics,” said Bryson.

Some students agree.

“No you definitely don’t need to pretend to be a slave but it was another hands on experiment used to simulate slavery,” said student Kaleem Syed. “Definitely not an effective way and there’s better alternatives than that.”

Comments (119)
  1. Keith Emery says:

    Oh Please! This isn’t about teaching “tolerance”. It is about teaching guilt and shame.for crimes committed by others generations ago.

  2. I hope teachers also taught that DEMOCRATS ran slavery and the slave trade with 1.8 million killed during shipping (Which was simply “shrinkage” for Democrats), DEMOCRATS killed another 600 to 800,000 Americans in their war to keep all Blacks as DEMOCRAT slaves, DEMOCRATS national flag IS the Confederate “Stars and Bars” flag (which it took Republicans to remove), every Confederate flag and statue is of DEMOCRAT “hero’s” and erected by DEMOCRATS, DEMOCRATS founded and ran the KKK doing ALL terrorizing and lynchings of Blacks up until 1981, DEMOCRATS shot Lincoln in the head after they lost the war and the election went to an anti-slavery Republican (see…nothing new in over 150 years. DEMOCRATS still are poor, violent losers), DEMOCRATS also passed the Jim Crow and brutally enforced Segregation laws, DEMOCRATS were also against the Women’s Vote, not wanting that many more Black votes, DEMOCRATS also ran the racially determined Japanese “Internment Camps”, the “Trail of Tears”, are the only party to declare and wage war against the USA, put Klansmen into Congress, ran Segregationist’s for, and had slave-owning President’s. this is just the short list. Looking forward to LA’s teacher’s teaching some real history sometime (not holding my breath).

  3. There is no slavery in this country and hasn’t been for more than a century. Why are they even bringing it up or re-enacting it out?

  4. Jim Thompson says:

    1850’s and before… now 2017… what’s wrong here?

  5. greatgosh says:

    Why not chain the African-American students together using iron shackles while allowing the non-African students to perform any activity of their choosing (e.g. use their phones and tablets, or those devices that “in reality” belong to the African-American students). Students, who are not wearing shackles while watching ROOTS, may choose to draw, get snacks at the vending machines, or venture outside to play. This exercise will teach everyone, including faculty, how racism and discrimination appear. Moreover, this will teach the students what discrimination is not.

  6. caffeineator says:

    Anyone who promoted this idea is probably a pedophile or a loony. Slavery was abolished by the Republicans 150 years ago. There are no more slaves except in the Arab and African countries – black countries. If these wackos wanted to teach a lesson, they should have the kids pretend to be Union soldiers offering their lives to free the slaves from the Democratic South. Or the Republican marchers such as Martin King who risked their lives against the Southern Democrats in the 1960s. Pretend to be Bull Connor fighting the National Guard to protect segregation. History has moved far from slave ships, buggy whips, and powdered wigs. I think teachers should be required to get a real job for at least five years before being allowed to influence kids. Let them have a realistic background that may help the kids function in a modern society.

  7. Grizz Mann says:

    Democrats practicing their old slave trade tactics.

  8. Sick , demented , perverts putting on their little dramas. Every last one of them should be beaten about the collarbone with a heavy truncheon for what they are doing to children.

  9. Todd Clemmer says:

    I really cannot wait for the pension bubble to burst.

  10. To be real & actual…. Did they create groups like the Irish slaves (30,000 in 1830), the Chinese Slaves (10’s of thousand building our rail roads), Black slaves owned by Blacks, Black slaves owned by Whites? Curious me. Or was this just another crying, whining, poor me Black racist exercise?

  11. Jon Fast says:

    The School superintendent that allowed this and the teachers that came up with this POS idea should be immediately fired. What an asinine idea to “teach” kids about slavery. Did they mention that it was blacks that sold other blacks into slavery? Bet not….SSDD in liberal land. How utterly pathetic.

  12. Pfffft, that’s nothing. Wait until they have to start pay taxes. Working for the gubbmint until May is pretty darned close to slavery.

  13. Not one black person alive for 50 years experienced slavery as an adult. Not one. None alive today experienced slavery at all. This has no relevance to those alive today. This experience did not make people the way they are today, and it has no benefit to anyone. It is simply a bunch of idiots in the education arena trying to propagate irrelavant history. Useless. Bad misguided teachers.

    Hey, Let’s feed some Christians to Lions too. Same thing.

  14. Bruce Henley says:

    Maybe they should force kids to climb in a pot of scalding water so they can appreciate cannablism practiced by some African cultures. Or better still maybe they should have teachers dressed as slavers chasing students through a jungle so they can appreciate what Africans went through being sold into slavery by their own race.

  15. If they want to teach slavery they should teach the way the moslems still enslave the blacks and Christians in CHAD, SUDAN, and ANGOLA. Common and legal practice. They could also teach about the works in the later 1800s of David Livingstone and his work to end arab slavery and slave trade in Africa. But I bet they don’t. I would bet that not one history class has even perused the work of Livingstone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xTl7tOkXtU What we have is deranged teachers and a project designed to keep the irrelevant past here today. They are absolute racists thinking that ones skin color makes a difference or made a difference with one race. When it comes to now nothing done in the 17 and 1800’s made any difference at all. Too many generations of opportunity have past. They have an opportunity to teach slavery of today. But don’t. Good thing it has stopped at this school.

    Teach ancient Rome, Feed a Christian kid to the lions. Same thing, Same relevance.

  16. Mark Mullins says:

    We did out children a tremendous disservice when we allowed progressives to have unfettered access to them. What those people do with kids is nothing short of child abuse.

  17. When dumber things are devised to harm children, our worthless teachers will create them.

  18. I moved my kids out of CA before grade school.

  19. Now take the kids, put them in to a ghetto with poor schools, no jobs, massive violence, broken homes and death.
    THAT is what it is like to live as a black person in a common Democrat city.

    But…all of this isnt really to teach about slavery, its to condemn as guilty generations of people who had nothing to do with slavery and who had many family members killed trying to free slaves and bring about a color blind society.
    I am beginning to really feel they died for nothing.

    1. greatgosh says:

      William,
      Your comment is based in Yankee-fluff. No white soldier made the decision to trade his life for that of a Negro slave down the river. That doesn’t make sense. Furthermore, no mother would trade the life of her son(s) for that of ten-thousand Negroes. Your indoctrination is replete with distortions and lies.

  20. More of the so-called “quality” education we expect of the public schools.

  21. So let’s get rid of confederate statues and symbols because it makes people feel bad and reminds people of Slavery. Then let’s bind kids hands and putting them in a dark room to make them feel bad and remind people of slavery. Just an observation.

    1. greatgosh says:

      Jonathan,
      Any action that provokes a reaction from ‘whites’ should be ignored. Liberals are striving to create a wrong side of history to place present day whites upon. The ‘whites’ have had it good for far too long, and Liberals are at war with our society, our manners, our culture, our borders, our history, our language, and our power. That which you wrote is accurate. However, the media is not interested in the truth; it has a war to win.

  22. KR Rayberry says:

    This is just sick. What is even more sick is that this teacher probably thinks this is perfectly normal. Lets throw kids into a mock city/state to show the effects of Socialism/Communism on a society. We have a great example playing out just south of the US.

  23. Quite pathetic when educators lack any common sense and thus fail to see how this would be a problem. They’re supposed to be teaching others? Yikes…

  24. were they told there wasn’t a single American ship delivering slave to the South?

  25. Where’s a really good earthquake when you need one??

  26. James Cygnus says:

    How about a re-enactment of “Buffalo Soldiers” raiding an unsuspecting Native American village and killing, raping and kidnapping the inhabitants? That happened too (to my great grandmother). Why is it any less of a “teaching moment”?

  27. Good to see indoctrination is alive and well in the public school system! What a despicable monument to our educational system.

  28. There should be a vacation resort called “Slavery World” where angry black people can play the role of slave master and GWL’s (Guilty White Liberals) can pose as slaves. This would be a GWL’s freaking wet dream.

  29. How about make them watch Nancy Pelosi?

  30. Dale Warren says:

    Well, schools have abandoned all interest in teaching students to read, write, and do mathematics. If you deny them the right to pursue their current priority of hate the United States revisionist history, with what activity will they fill the hours of the school day?

  31. LIBERALS ARE SICK Fs!!!!!!!!!!!!

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