Children in Southeast London were told to line up according to skin color as part of a primary school lesson about race.
Teachers had 30 students ages 10 to 11 to “organize themselves from the darkest to the lightest” with the last boy being picked on because he was the “blackest,” the Daily Mail reported.
Parents said children came home Wednesday from Ryelands Primary School in South Norwood and told them about the “highly inappropriate” ethnic diversity exercise.
“Parents have told me children laughed at one child because he was ‘the blackest’ and argued about who was darker and who was lighter,” one mother, who did not want to be identified, told the Mail Online.
“This is not something that you want to be happening in your school,” she added. “I would be mortified if it was my child. I think it is highly inappropriate. Parents have complained but the school did not apologise for it, they tried to explain it away.”
“How can they think lining up children according to their skin colour is educational?” said another parent on condition of anonymity. “This is totally ridiculous and I am ashamed to say my child is in this school – I'm only glad my son only has another year to go before he can move to another school.”
Oasis Community Learning, which took over the school after it failed inspection in February, defended the lesson saying it will “foster respect, tolerance and love for others, regardless of race, gender, religion or difference, within a framework of equality of opportunity and fairness.”
“Inclusion is our raison d'etre and we are very committed to equality,” an Oasis spokesman said. “In this instance, it was about celebrated differences and saying it is OK to talk about them in a positive way but recognizing we are all the same underneath. We fully support the teaching assistants that were involved but of course we are always willing to listen to feedback about how we do things in the future.”