A slave auction is no laughing matter. So when some of Chris Condrad’s students from Barrington High School in Illinois performed a skit portraying a slave in chains being sold, it obviously came off as offensive. Now the school is apologizing for it.
“The Barrington School District offers sincere apologies to those offended by a skit our high school Latin students conducted at the Illinois Junior Classical Convention in Itasca this weekend,” the district said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
Barrington High School has 3,069 students, of which 70% are white, 16% are Hispanic and just over 1% are black.
Barrington School District 220 spokeswoman Morgan Delack explained to the Chicago Tribune that the 45-second skit, which was captured on video by a parent, was “meant to be an introduction of students depicting slavery in ancient Rome” and that Mr. Condrad, who did not review the skit before it was performed, publicly apologized at the convention.
“Clearly, it did not come off as humorous, but there was no maliciousness or cultural insensitivity intended,” Delack said. “I think the group of students understood that some people were offended.”
She added that it was unlikely Condrad, a teacher for 13 years at Barrington High, or his students would be disciplined.
“This is a teachable moment,” Delack said. “Now these students can reflect back on their actions and learn from it.”
(Photo: WBBM-TV, CBS 2 Chicago Local News)