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NAACP calls on Osceola school to apologize after roleplay allegedly turns racist. Here's what to know

The NAACP says it has received photos from the parents of a 2-year-old girl showing her being handcuffed and fingerprinted during a Rosa Parks roleplay activity.
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The NAACP says it has received photos from the parents of a 2-year-old girl showing her being handcuffed and fingerprinted during a Rosa Parks roleplay activity.

The NAACP says it has received photos from the parents of a 2-year-old girl showing her being handcuffed and fingerprinted during a Rosa Parks roleplay activity. The activity took place on December 1.

The class at the Building Brains Academy in St. Cloud had been learning about the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

In a letter sent to the school, the NAACP’s Dr. Ivory Toldson called the incident a breach of teaching standards writing, “Trivializing our history is abhorrent.”

Toldson says he wants the school to formally apologize, compensate the family for damages, provide a plan for teaching Black history, and bring in a professional to work with students following the incident.

He also sent a letter to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

School spokesperson Sandi Poreda says the roleplay was spontaneous and unplanned.

In a statement, she says they regret the assumption that the school would, “choose to make a child feel uncomfortable or negatively singled out.”

Here's the school's full response:

"A few weeks ago, one of the classes in our multicultural school was learning about the legacy of Rosa Parks and the importance of treating each other with respect and equality. In the spirit of the moment, the class spontaneously decided to act out the elements of Ms. Parks’ story, including her arrest for refusing to give up her seat at the front of the bus, as part of a much fuller lesson about the importance of equal rights.


Our school believes in and teaches the importance of equality, of standing up for our rights, and of speaking up when we see something isn't right. We teach these lessons not to celebrate the wrongdoings of others in the past, but to encourage our children to prevent such actions in the future. We deeply regret the assumption that our teachers, our leadership or our administration would in any way choose to make a child feel uncomfortable or negatively singled out."

Read the NAACP's letter to the school:

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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