/  05.23.2022

It’s 2022 and there are still some people who simply do not get it – it pays to not be racist. A Michigan private school teacher used a photo of former President Barack Obama among other images of animals in a lesson where she asked the class to “identify the primate.”  The teacher, who has not been named, has since been placed on leave, The Root reports.

The incident took place at the Birmingham campus of the Roeper School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan which is home to the school’s middle and high school students. Students were given an assignment which included various animals, including monkeys and one image of the former president. He was the only human image placed alongside the other photos.

“On behalf of Roeper’s School’s leadership, we want to acknowledge the disturbing racial offense contained in an assignment with an upper school last week,” said the school in a statement.

In the lesson, which was given to 30 biology students, it asked the class the following question: “Which of the following are primates.”

A parent sent a concerned letter a day after the lesson was assigned to students. Roeper’s Director of Diversity, Carolyn Lett called the behavior unacceptable.

“The following morning, we were alerted that this went out, we discussed it ourselves and immediately spoke with the teacher,” she said. “This is not anything we’ve seen before and nothing we’re used to.”

According to reports, not only has the teacher been placed on an administrative leave, but the school is also prepared to review current curriculum while also working on professional development for its staff and faculty with more of a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

“The choice to use this piece of curriculum was completely inconsistent with our School’s philosophy and mission and we sincerely apologize for its use and the harm it has caused,” the statement continued. “While the teacher has taken responsibility and admits the mistake of not properly vetting the resource, we know that is not enough and she has been placed on administrative leave until further notice.”

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