NAACP, Florida, roleplay. Rosa Parks, school

Florida Daycare Center Allows Toddler To Be Arrested In Rosa Parks Role Play

Building Brains Academy, a school in Florida, has been condemned by the NAACP for allowing a Black child to be arrested in a role play lesson on Rosa Parks.

A Florida school is under fire for allegedly letting a Black toddler be fingerprinted and arrested in handcuffs for playing Rosa Parks on December 1, an incident the NAACP calls “racially unethical.”

Building Brains Academy conducted the role play in one of its classes, comprised of 2- and 3-year-olds, who were taught about Parks’ role in the civil rights movement. According to the NAACP, the child, the only Black student in the class, was made to play the role and reenact the scene where Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat on a segregated public bus.

According to photos released to NBC News by the NAACP, the girl was pretending to have her fingerprints taken by a classmate. Another shot displaying the child with her hands behind her back. The photos made their way to her parents, who swiftly removed from the child from school. Her parents said the school never apologized.

“Rosa Parks was a woman we would teach our daughter to look up to, but now our memory is stained. This is something we’ll have to grow around and see how we can tell her this story differently,” the girl’s mother said.

In light of the incident, the NAACP released a letter condemning the school for allowing the tone-deaf role play.

“We consider the activity an inappropriate trivialization of a significant historical event, insensitive to the struggles against segregation, and psychologically harmful to all students involved, especially Black students reenacting such a traumatic moment in American history,” detailed the justice organization.

In response to the letter, the school denied the total allegations of racism, stating that the narrative and photos do not show the “complete or accurate representation” of the lesson and that they promote the “importance of equality” within their educational environment.

However, the NAACP remains adamant that the incident is a result of the ongoing issue regarding the teaching of Black history in Florida schools, especially as the fight for its inclusion in the state’s curriculum wages on. The school has since said that the teacher has apologized and understands the harm caused despite the intention.