colonization, Flight to Freedom, National, News, North Penn School District, Race, Shane-Muffin Smith, Slavery Game -

Elementary School’s Interactive ‘Slave Game’ Requiring Students to Flee ‘Massa’ Leaves Pennsylvania Mother Outraged

colonization, Flight to Freedom, National, News, North Penn School District, Race, Shane-Muffin Smith, Slavery Game -

Elementary School’s Interactive ‘Slave Game’ Requiring Students to Flee ‘Massa’ Leaves Pennsylvania Mother Outraged

An elementary school in Pennsylvania is the latest to catch heat over an interactive lesson on slavery requiring students to role-play in an effort to escape “massa.”

Shane-Muffin Smith said she was outraged when her son came home with an assignment called “Flight to Freedom,” a digital simulation game where students on take the role of a fictional 14-year-old slave girl named Lucy King. The goal? To help Lucy flee the Kentucky plantation where she and her family are enslaved without getting caught.

The award-winning web game unfolds in a choose-your-own adventure format where the narrative’s trajectory changes based on the player’s decisions, Education Week reported. Smith was less than pleased with the lesson to be learned, however.

“My son’s elementary school lesson … I’m beyond pissed,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “My son will not sit in class and feel less than while others feel superior. 22 kids/6 of them are Black. My son says this makes him feel so angry.”

Accompanying Smith’s post is a short video of her son playing the game, in which the white slave master barks orders to young Lucy.

“You girl! You finished your morning work?” the slave holder says. “You’re about the laziest Negro this side of the river. You’re gonna take care of the smokehouse too today — since Henry can’t do it. You’re gonna put some damp green wood on the fire and then chop some more wood for tomorrow.

The master then hands her the key to lockup after she’s finished with her work, saying, “Don’t want no slaves stealing no meat!”

Smith’s son is heard explaining to his mother that if he (Lucy) wastes time and tries to leave, the slave master will definitely catch him.

The post has been shared almost 300 times, drawing reactions from parents who were equally outraged by the game.

In the comments, Smith said her son’s principal told her the game was part of a school lesson on colonization, and has been used several times in the past with no complaints. She said the principal heeded her concerns and has stopped use of the interactive game and all classwork associated with it. However, she noted the final say so in removing the game from classrooms ultimately lies with the district superintendent.

“While change is always good, this is not good enough for me I still want answers,” Smith wrote. ” … This school district is known for pushing issue under the rug when it comes to African-Americans, but not this time. I’ll be heard loud and clear. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.”


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