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Mara Sapon-Shevin Addresses Recent Mock Slave Auction Controversy

Mara Sapon-Shevin being interviewed for Spectrum News

Mara Sapon Shevin, professor of inclusive education in the Department of Teaching and Leadership, spoke to Spectrum news about allegations last month that a fourth grade teacher in the Watertown City School District had students participate in a mock slave auction.

Sapon-Shevin spoke about the district and community response to the allegations, as well as the importance of inclusive thought and practice in teacher preparation:

“Inclusive education really means preparing teachers to have the skills and inclinations and knowledge and comfort to deal with a wide range of diversities in the classroom. It doesn’t just mean disability; it also means differences in race, class, gander, ethnicity, religion, family background, sexuality.”

“Of course it’s important to teach about it, and children need to know that it happened. That’s an important thing to understand. But there are so many other ways to teach about race and racism that don’t involve simulating something so painful.”

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