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New York Public School Slavery Lesson by Teacher Upsets Teen and Angers Parent

By Steven Smith, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


A New York middle school teacher (Ellen Bernstein) at Haverstraw Middle School in Rockland County decided to illustrate concepts of slavery with two teen students by binding the students. One student was white and one was black. The teacher bound the feet and hands of both students. The black student (Gabrielle Shand) did not volunteer for the lesson and when she returned home later that day was in tears in recounting the public school lesson with her mother. The local NAACP has stepped in to protest the lesson and conduct of the school teacher.

Bernstein, Haverstraw Middle School’s principal and the school superintendant apologized to the student and her mother.

Retraining and binding a child in school can be quite traumatic for the child especially when considering the history of slavery as well as discrimination in the United States. It appears that there will be further discussions, meetings, and protests about this incident. You can read more about the incident at New York Middle School Student Get Unpleasant History Lesson in Slavery.

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