Recently a Virginia Elementary School was criticized for allowing students to play a game where students pretended to be runaway slaves while navigating an obstacle course meant to represent the Underground Railroad. To add to the disappointing news, an African American student was designated as the “slave” for the game.
There are many obvious wrongs within this scenario, but what really stands out the most is the miseducation of slavery that the school was teaching the students. Instead of learning about the serious subject matter of the historical enslavement of Africans within the classroom, the school officials made mockery of the historical subject with a game.
Although the school has sent a letter following the incident apologizing for the event that transpired, more needs to be done in regards to the teaching of such subject matter. A suggestion for the educators that allowed for the “Runaway Slave Game” to occur would be to undergo a cultural competency course that would encourage the appropriate manner of teaching young children about slavery.