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Gym teacher on leave after asking black students to research 'slave games'

NBC News logo NBC News 5 days ago Ben Kesslen and Associated Press
a yellow school bus parked on the side of a road: Shorewood Intermediate School in Wisconsin. © Google Maps Shorewood Intermediate School in Wisconsin.

MaHailey Stephens, a black seventh grader in Wisconsin, asked her mom about something strange that had happened in school that day.

“I went to my mom, I’m like, ‘Mom, what are slave games?'” MaHailey told WITI-TV.

MaHailey is one of many students at Shorewood Intermediate School who say their middle school gym teacher separated students based on race and asked them to research their “culture,” according to WITI.

Black students, according to a letter by Shorewood Intermediate School superintendent Bryan Davis obtained by NBC News, were told to research games played by enslaved children.

Davis said the district has launched an internal investigation and placed the teacher on indefinite leave.

“We are committed to providing an environment of inclusion in our schools,” Davis said. “We will continue to assess the situation and ensure that we provide ongoing support to our students as we move forward.”

Reshunda Stephens, MaHailey’s mother, said this isn’t the first time she has been informed about racist remarks from the gym teacher. Stephens told WITI-TV that last year the teacher asked her older daughter to join “the colored club.”

"How many more times do people have to feel uncomfortable until change happens?" Stephens said.

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