US kindergarten teacher under fire after using 'plow', 'boat' yoga poses to teach history of slavery
- A kindergarten teacher in Delaware is under fire for combining a yoga class with a lesson on slavery.
- The pre-recorded video class also incorrectly identifies Africa as a country, not a continent.
- The school district called the lesson "unacceptable" and has launched an investigation into the class.
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A kindergarten teacher in Wyoming, Delaware, is under scrutiny after teaching a class that combined a lesson on slavery with yoga poses.
A video of the pre-recorded lesson was shared on Facebook by a parent of a McIlvaine Early Childhood Center student who was concerned not only that the teacher was trivialising the horrors of slavery by connecting it to yoga poses, but that she was getting her facts wrong.
During the 35-minute lesson, the teacher also incorrectly identifies Africa as a country, not a continent.
"African people came to America on boats to become slaves," the teacher, who has not yet been identified, says in the video. "So here's the great big country of Africa. They crossed the Atlantic to come over to America. So right now, I need you to get into your boat pose," she says.
The teacher then suggests that students try the "plow pose" in order to relate to African slaves who "worked in the fields all day."
"Africans were treated very poorly, even though they farmed the land and plowed the fields to make America beautiful and help grow our food," the teacher says. "They worked in the fields all day. If you're at home, you can try the plow pose."
"It's 2021, you'd think this stuff would have ended a long time ago," Jessie Welch, a parent of a student in the district, told Delaware News Journal. "But it hasn't because of ignorance. And this is an educator who's supposed to be teaching our kids."
In a statement released on Friday, the Caesar Rodney School District said it would be investigating the lesson. The district said they consider the lesson "unacceptable and not consistent with Caesar Rodney School District values."
Earlier this year, several teachers at a Wisconsin middle school were put on leave after asking students to share how they would "punish" a slave.
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