Students at a private school in Connecticut called out their teachers on Instagram for racism.
The account detailed instances of racism, including how a Black student was forced to role-play a “slave” escaping from “slave catchers.”
The school apologized this week, and announced a list of “cultural inclusiveness” initiatives.
Black students at a private school in Connecticut have taken to Instagram to call their administrators, teachers, and fellow students out for racist remarks.
The account “Blackatking” began posting in June 2020 and has detailed dozens of student accounts of what they allege to be anti-Black racism at the King School, a prestigious private school in Connecticut.
A student identifying as a Black male said that as a 6th grader, he was forced to run in the woods at night, pretending to be on the “underground railroad” with other students and teachers posing as “slave catchers.”
“We were led by another white counselor to a ‘safe house’ and made to hide in the bathroom. The ‘slave catchers’ then found some of us in the bathroom and captured us, splitting us from the group,” he wrote.
The account lists over 100 instances of racist remarks and comments from teachers and fellow students “fetishizing” and “sexualizing” Black students.
“I heard a teacher talk to a mother about my hair and how ‘different’ it was. She complained about how (the) other girls’ hair was neat and straight while mine was curly,” said one post from a female student at the King School.
The account lists several claims about specific school faculty in which students said teachers were “completely obsessed with policing Black women’s bodies” and “sexualizing” the students they worked with.
The account also alleged that racism at the school ran much deeper than questionable school activities and inappropriate behavior.
A post claiming to be from a former teacher at the school said white faculty members would often comment to other white teachers that the school’s director of equity and inclusion were “pushing that agenda again.” Another post also accused the school’s administrative team of making it “impossible for Black employees to build inclusive environments” by being “hostile” to them.
This week, the King School released a statement apologizing for the “pain suffered by anyone within our walls.”
“Since last summer, King School embarked on an intentional journey to examine every area of the school through a lens of equity and inclusion, with an overarching goal of becoming a more inclusive and anti-racist school,” the statement wrote, acknowledging that the incidents highlighted in the Instagram account were “not isolated events.”
The school also said it was making efforts to increase “cross-cultural competencies,” along with changes to the curriculum and its administrative policies to be more “inclusive.”
Students at other schools have similarly used Instagram to air frustrations about racism in schools. The account “BlackAtPingry,” contained posts from students at The Pingry School, a preparatory school in New Jersey, which said other students named the end-of-year fundraiser “Senior Slave Day” and regularly called COVID the “China Virus.”