Mississippi school scrutinized for giving Black preschooler a 'Monkey Award': report

Mississippi school scrutinized for giving Black preschooler a 'Monkey Award': report
Teacher At Montessori School Reading To Children At Story Time (Shutterstock).

On Thursday, WKYT reported that an elementary school in Batesville, Mississippi is facing criticism after a Black preschooler was sent home with something called a "Monkey Award."

"Shemekia Ellis voiced concerns when her son brought home the 'Monkey Award … for entertaining others,'" reported Bria Bolden and Debra Worley. "Her son received other awards, too, but the one comparing him to a monkey is something Ellis did not expect. 'He was excited about the award, but he had no idea what he was holding,' Ellis told WMC. 'It’s unacceptable for me.'"

"Ellis met with school district officials who told her what happened was unacceptable," said the report. "They said her child’s teacher didn’t know the history behind Blacks being compared to monkeys. 'She said the teacher stated that she gave him the award for his energy,' Ellis said. 'But the award doesn’t say anything about energy. It says entertainment.'"

According to the report, school officials also claim that they "had a meeting before the ceremony cautioning them to be sensitive about the awards given to students."

Other incidents at schools around the country may not have had such innocent intent.

In Louisville, Kentucky last month, a teacher allegedly used the word "monkey" to describe another student, sparking an investigation. And Black student athletes around the country have faced a number of incidents in which opposing fans made "ape noises" at them.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.