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Education

Union County School System Apologizes For Racist Hashtags

waxhaw elementary facebook.jpg
Waxhaw Elementary/Union County Schools
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Waxhaw Elementary School is seen in Union County east of Charlotte.

WAXHAW — School officials in North Carolina's Union County have apologized after racist hashtags were displayed on a classroom Twitter wall as part of a Civil War assignment for fourth graders.

Kimberly Morrison-Hansley, a member of the Union County NAACP chapter, told the Charlotte Observer that the students at the Waxhaw Elementary School were assigned to write tweets and hashtags that people living in North Carolina during the Civil War might have written if Twitter existed during that time period. Students came up with hashtags such as “Slavery for Life," according to a photo of the Twitter wall in a now-deleted post on the school Facebook page, WJZY-TV reported.

“@dontStopSlavery," you may not agree with slavery but I do and I'm honest about it” read a post on the Twitter wall.

“It should be deeply disturbing to anyone,” said Morrison-Hansley, who called the assignment inappropriate for children so young.

In its statement apologizing for the hashtags, the Union County Schools said “this type of assignment is unacceptable,” according to a copy of the statement provided to the Observer by Morrison-Hansley.

"District administrators are taking this matter very seriously and met with the entire Waxhaw Elementary staff,” the statement said.

It also said the school system is developing training sessions for all employees to address diversity, equity and inclusion.

“We are committed to working with teachers to discuss best practices for instruction,” the statement said.

Morrison-Hansley, a former member of the county Board of Education and the first Black woman elected to the board, said the statement is inadequate. She said the superintendent and individual board members should face the public on YouTube and apologize themselves.

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