CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A poster in an Albemarle County elementary school has gotten a response from Superintendent Matt Haas.
The school meant to celebrate Black History Month, but it is no longer up because Haas says, without context, it missed its mark. Mountain View, formerly known as Cale Elementary School, will now need to coordinate with its Black History Month Committee to evaluate the poster and figure out next steps.
That poster read, "They didn't steal slaves. they stole scientists, doctors, architects, teachers, entrepreneurs, astronomers, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, etc [sic] and made them slaves."
Haas says in a statement sent to NBC29 that the poster “generated a contentious environment”. Another representative says the “destructive confrontations” believed to be caused by the poster included at least one student yelling at another. Now, administrators at the school will need to clear up misunderstandings that may have come up because of that poster and consider all perspectives.
Later in his statement, Haas writes that the poster is “as factual as it is emotional,” and that educators need to be thoughtful about how they handle topics such as slavery. Haas says he does personally feel that the message on the poster is true and compelling but hopes to better contextualize the message for students in a way that helps them feel secure and safe at school.