Accusations of racism in Princess Anne Elementary

Amanda Furniss says her six- year-old daughter Aaliyah had some shocking things to say about a lesson in school.

Amanda Furniss goes on, “Brown skin kids go to a hot place and white kids stay here.” That phrase is what her daughter claims her Princess Anne Elementary teacher told her.  

Furniss says she recorded her daughter’s explanation on what else she learned in class; “She was understanding that black kids sat in the back of the bus now and white kids sat in the front. I told her that wasn’t right. She kept going on about the teacher saying brown kids go here and white kids go there.”

The video went viral, quickly gaining thousands of views on Facebook. The school district is admittedly not happy, saying it gave a good teacher a bad reputation.

They believe it was just a child misunderstanding a black history month lesson. 47ABC was told the teacher used a personal experience to explain segregation.

Dr. John Gaddis, the Somerset County Superintendent explains, “She talked about how the races were segregated even at the beach and where people sat at the beach. One of the zones was called the hot spot.”

As far as the bus comment, the school district is attributing that to a lesson on Rosa Parks. All of these points were discussed in a meeting Monday morning with the school principal, the teacher, the Furniss family and the chair of the citizen review board for children for Somerset County, Kirkland Hall.

He believes while everyone may not agree on exactly what transpired; they’re doing the right thing by addressing a sensitive topic like race head on.

Hall goes on, “I’m hoping that the parent and the school continue to target race, and continue talking about diversity at a young age, so that when they get older they realize we’re all the same.”

Furniss tells 47 ABC, in her opinion nothing was really accomplished in the meeting. She says she has her own agenda which is to continue to enforce racial equality at home with her daughter.

While Aaliyah will go back to class, Furniss says if she hears anything like this again the district will be hearing from her.  

The Somerset County School District did not question any other students in Aaliyah’s class regarding the teacher’s lesson. They felt the entire incident was truly misunderstanding and saw no need for involving other students.  

The Somerset County school district tells 47ABC if any parent or student has an issue involving any of their schools whether it is race related or not, they should contact the district right away. They say they will never turn anyone away.

Categories: Education, Local News