Montessori del Mundo, a charter school in Aurora, Colo. for kids in pre-K to first grade, is reportedly apologizing after showing footage of George Floyd’s death to its students.
While the school said the clip was in alignment with its Black History Month studies, school officials admitted the clip was not age-appropriate and should not have been shared with the students who saw it, according to local outlet KDVR.
Outraged parents spoke with KDVR over the clip shown to their children, with one parent saying this and other issues have forced her to take her children out of the school.
“My son, since then, has been having nightmares asking if he is a bad person for being white, even though he is a mixed child,” one parent said, according to KDVR. “He was also told that there are bad police and there are good police, but that he should not trust them,” Hawkins added.
The school responded to parents’ complaints in a letter.
“Following a discussion of the different treatment of black and white people by some police officers, a six-second clip of the George Floyd video was shown to Taller 1 students. The team closed the session by answering student questions and discussing their reactions,” the letter said. “The intent behind this lesson was positive and in alignment with our BHM studies, however, this clip was not age-appropriate and should not have been shared with the children as part of this class.
The letter also listed a set of action steps the school would be taking “to ensure parents are informed about the content of controversial or difficult topics.”
Similar instances to what took place at Montessori del Mundo have occurred elsewhere.
In 2020, a mother told a local news outlet in Memphis she would be homeschooling her 10-year-old son after he was allegedly shown graphic footage of Floyd’s death. She added that her son’s class held discussions that shouldn’t be had with young children.
High school students have also been forced to watch the graphic footage and engage in activities around it that some have found to be questionable.
Students at a Texas high school were given a class assignment to watch the graphic footage of Floyd’s death and act like jurors at the trial of the officer charged with murdering him, which was ongoing at the time, according to WFAA in Dallas.
“I don’t feel that viewing and discussing this case in school is age-appropriate for scholars,” the school’s principal wrote in a message to parents, reported WFAA.
Montessori del Mundo was reached out to for comment but did not hear back ahead of publication. If a response is received it will be added to this story.