PITTSBORO, N.C. -- An investigation found that students at a North Carolina school pretended to “sell” Black classmates at a mock “slave auction” recently, but no adults were involved, school system officials said.
Chatham County Schools officials said in a statement Monday that the code of conduct is being revised to ensure incidents like this are handled swiftly and with severe consequences from now on, news outlets reported.
“We reiterate that our goal is for all students to feel safe and welcome in their school. Chatham County Schools expects our students and staff to be respectful, mindful of others and engage in appropriate behavior,” the district said.
Last week, a coalition of local groups called on the school board to address the situation at the J.S. Waters School in Goldston and require the instigators to apologize. Some parents complained that several students involved were given just a one-day suspension. The K-8 school about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Raleigh has 195 students, and 68% are white.
Superintendent Anthony Jackson apologized, and the school board adopted some policy changes. The district is adding training for administrators, staff and teachers as well as focus groups and “restorative circles” within schools to give students, staff and families opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue.