News, Culture & Society

Teacher allegedly told students to ‘write something funny’ under photos of enslaved people 

Eighth grade teacher in New York is removed from the classroom and put under investigation after she ‘asked her students to ‘write something funny’ under photos of black slaves for an assignment

  • Darlene McCurty took to her Facebook on Friday and said that her granddaughter raised concerns with a class assignment 
  • McCurty shared that the teacher worked at John W. Dodd Middle School in Freeport, New York, but added that her granddaughter was not in the class 
  • She identified the teacher as Shelly Scully 
  • In a statement shared online, superintendent Dr. Kishore Kuncham said that the students were to write captions for Reconstruction Era photos
  • Kuncham added that the teacher was removed from the classroom while an investigation was being conducted 

A New York grandmother took to her social media on Friday to voice her displeasure with her granddaughter’s middle school after a teacher assigned classwork where students were to ‘write something funny’ about slavery. 

Darlene McCurty took to her Facebook on Friday and said that her granddaughter – who is in the eighth grade – raised concerns with a class assignment that one of the social studies teachers had handed out. 

McCurty shared that the teacher worked at John W. Dodd Middle School in Freeport, New York, but added that her granddaughter was not in the educator’s class.  

Darlene McCurty took to her Facebook on Friday and said that her granddaughter raised concerns with a class assignment

Shared in the post were images of the assignment, which showed photographs of African American slaves with what appears to be overseers and out on the cotton fields

Shared in the post were images of the assignment, which showed photographs of African American slaves with what appears to be overseers and out on the cotton fields

Shared in the post were images of the assignment, which showed photographs of African American slaves with what appears to be overseers and out on the cotton fields. The assignment asked for students to provide a title and caption to the images and also included cartoons depicting slavery. 

‘She said her friend’s social studies teacher gave a class assignment to “write something funny”about these pictures on slavery – and make it real funny because she didn’t want to be bored,’ the grandmother said in the post that has been shared just under 2,000 times.

‘My granddaughter’s friend refused to write anything “funny”.’ 

The grandmother continued: ‘My granddaughter was and still is very upset and she asked me how can this racist teacher be reprimanded. I told her that I would handle it.’

The assignment asked for students to provide a title and caption to the images and also included cartoons depicting slavery

The assignment asked for students to provide a title and caption to the images and also included cartoons depicting slavery

McCurty shared that the teacher worked at John W. Dodd Middle School in Freeport, New York, but added that her granddaughter was not in the educator's class

McCurty shared that the teacher worked at John W. Dodd Middle School in Freeport, New York, but added that her granddaughter was not in the educator’s class

McCurty identified the teacher as Shelly Scully, adding that she is a white woman. The concerned grandmother declared that Scully be ‘removed for her blatant insensitivity and racism towards teaching this lesson on slavery’. 

Scully was named as one of 16 educators honored by the Freeport Public School district for 20 years of service in 2017. On the school district’s website, she is listed as the lead teacher. 

In a statement shared on the district’s website, superintendent Dr. Kishore Kuncham described that the students were to write captions for Reconstruction Era photos. 

McCurty identified the teacher as Shelly Scully. The concerned grandmother declared that Scully be 'removed for her blatant insensitivity and racism towards teaching this lesson on slavery'

McCurty identified the teacher as Shelly Scully. The concerned grandmother declared that Scully be ‘removed for her blatant insensitivity and racism towards teaching this lesson on slavery’

Kuncham added that the teacher was removed from the classroom while an investigation was being conducted. 

‘Our investigation has determined that this lesson was poorly conceived and executed,’ the superintendent added. 

‘The teacher instructed three separate classes of students to develop captions for photos of post-war sharecroppers. We understand from our investigation that she told students to “make it funny” and “don’t bore me.” Aside from the fact that this is a poor lesson, it is an insensitive trivialization of a deeply painful era for African Americans in this country, and it is unacceptable.’

Kuncham shared a message said to have been an apology from the teacher.  

‘It is with the deepest sense of respect that I apologize to the students, families and larger Freeport community for my insensitive words and actions last week,’ Scully said in her message.

‘As a teacher and fellow member of this school community, it is my responsibility to exercise the highest degree of care and thought in all of my student and staff interactions. I failed to do so last week, and I fully accept that I must work hard to rebuild trust from my students, colleagues and the community.’ 

Kuncham added that the union is working on its options with the teacher. 

In a statement shared on the district's website, superintendent Dr. Kishore Kuncham described that the students were to write captions for Reconstruction Era photos

In a statement shared on the district’s website, superintendent Dr. Kishore Kuncham described that the students were to write captions for Reconstruction Era photos



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.