Entertainment And News

Mother Says Son Was Sold In A 'Mock Slave-Auction' Hosted By White Students At North Carolina School

Photo: Facebook
Ashley Palmer's family

The systems of slavery have left a terrible and indelible mark on this country. Slavery is one of the United States’ original sins and still affects American society over 150 years after the Civil War.

It is always disappointing when the prejudices and injustices of the past rear their ugly heads in the present, particularly when it affects, not just people old enough to remember Jim Crow and the fight for civil rights, but children.

A North Carolina mother claimed that her son was sold during a ‘mock slave-auction’ by white students.

Ashley Palmer made a public Facebook post on March 4, 2022, in which she said that her son told her about how his classmates had been sold in a mock auction. The incident took place at the K-8 school, J.S. Waters School.

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Palmer wrote in her post, “Our son experienced a slave auction by his classmates and when he opened up we were made aware that this type of stuff seems to be the norm so much that he didn't think it was worth sharing."

"His friend 'went for $350' and another student was the Slavemaster because he 'knew how to handle them.'”

The students barely received any punishment.

Reportedly, the students involved in selling their classmates only received a one-day suspension and Palmer’s son was harassed and assaulted for telling his mom about the incident.

Obviously, parents were unhappy with the fact that the mock-auction happened in the first place and with the school's response.

The mother of one of the children that were ‘sold’ said, “I asked my son why didn't he tell me? He responded with, 'Mom it wasn't a big deal.' I am a mother who just had to explain to my son why being auctioned as a slave is unacceptable.”

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The mother explained that her child was less interested in playing sports with his classmates and fears that this and other incidents like it might affect her child “mentally and socially.”

The school board has released an apology and an action plan.

Superintendent Anthony Jackson shared how disappointed he was to hear that this had happened to students in the school and announced that there would be changes moving forward.

Jackson said, “As a father, as an educator, as a grandfather, tonight was very difficult. It's difficult to sit here and listen and hear and hurt for our children.”

The Superintendent also said that it was important for schools to be safe places for children and that he and the school would need to do better.

The action plan involves a total overhaul to how the school handles discriminatory incidents’, including more transparency with parents, investigation, staff training, and resources.

The school board accepted the action plan in a unanimous vote.

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Dan O'Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics, and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.