Take a moment and remember what it was like being in the 8th grade. You’re thirteen years old, pimply and awkward, unsure of yourself, and still growing as a person. The authorities in your life are your parents and teachers, and young as you are, you have no choice but to rely on their guidance. You’re gradually learning independence and responsibility, but you’re nowhere near adulthood.
Now imagine that during history class, you are forced by a teacher to have your hands bound with masking tape, and made to lie down on the floor of a dark classroom, shoulder to shoulder with your peers. Imagine you didn’t know this was coming. Would that quicken your heart beat? Would your palms sweat? Now imagine you’re a black child being forced through this ordeal.
This isn’t a nightmare, although it sure reads like one, at least until the video clips from Roots start playing. This is a reality for the 8th graders at Whitney High School in Cerritos, California. This surprise “lesson” which, according to CBS Los Angeles, has been going on in 8th grade classrooms for the last ten years, and is intended to be a slave ship reenactment, was recently brought to light by a disturbed mother, Shardé Carrington, after she received an email from her child’s teacher informing her of the upcoming “Unique Learning Experience”.