Douglas County School District Superintendent Trent North apologized to a Douglasville, Georgia family in a voicemail for a role their daughter was assigned in school play that was inappropriate for seven-year-olds.
They complained that a teacher at the Burnett Elementary School in Douglasville assigned their seven-year-old daughter to a “white segregationist” role without telling them or asking for their consent.
The 7-year-old student, Anastasia Bertram, who is “the only white girl in her class,” according to her father, caused outrage. Her parents withdrew both she and her sister from the school after the incident. The parents were never notified about their daughter’s role in the play, they argued, and had no idea about the play’s theme until they were sitting in the audience.
In a video of the play, Anastasia as the segregationist, yells at her all black classmates to “go away, you don’t belong here!” She also held a sign that read, “Go home,” on one side and “Cursed is the man who integrates” on the other.
The local ABC-affiliate, WSB-TV reported on the incident and posted a video of the play on Twitter:
The video that infuriated the parents of a 7-year-old after her teacher had her portray a school segregationist during a school play without their knowledge or consent. “Go away, you don’t belong here.” Then she held up a sign that read: “Go Home.” Details @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/OwTXFy3mPu
— Wendy Halloran (@WHalloranWSB) March 15, 2018
“She’s 7!” Anastasia’s mother told WSB-TV. “And you put her onstage and made her think what she was doing was OK? That’s not OK.”
Her father told the Daily Mail that other parents started looking at him during the play. He said, “She is the only white girl in her class, and one of the very few in the whole school. Giving her the position of a white supremacist at the age of 7 was unacceptable.”
The Bertrams pulled both their daughters from the school. Their father said, “We did not feel they could stay in an environment like that.”
The girls were transferred to another school approved by the district.