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Mission, B.C. parents say biracial child was singled out in slavery lesson

Click to play video: 'Mission parents say biracial child was singled out in slavery lesson' Mission parents say biracial child was singled out in slavery lesson
WATCH: A couple in Mission says their young daughter was subjected to a lesson she should have never had to learn. They say the mixed race kindergartener was brought up to the front of the room during a lesson on slavery, and used as an example. Kristen Robinson reports – Feb 23, 2022

A couple in Mission, B.C., is speaking out after they say their young daughter was singled out in a lesson in kindergarten class.

The family says their mixed-race child was brought up to the front of the room during a lesson on slavery, and used as an example.

Read more: Report finds systemic racism at northern B.C. school board

The five-year-old is now learning from home, after the alleged incident at Christine Morrison elementary.

“I worried for her, she’s our treasure,” father Vincent Oravec said.

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Oravec said his daughter returned from school Tuesday, and detailed her kindergarten music teacher’s attempt to explain the concept of slavery.

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“(She) name told me she was told to go into the four corners of the classroom by the teacher, who was the ‘master,'” he told Global News.

Read more: Racist remarks hurled at Oliver, B.C. students by adult protester during confrontation

The girl was the only student who appeared to be singled out in a demonstration about how American people dominated Africans.

“American people had dogs that could smell the African people, so the African people had to hide in the water to hide their scent and our daughter is already afraid of dogs,” he said.

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Mother Naomi Karanja said the incident left her in tears. She and her husband question why this subject matter was introduced to a kindergarten music class.

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“I come from Kenya and I’m so proud of it,” she said. “But I felt so sad for my daughter because of being singled out.”

“Why our daughter? Why was she subjected to that in front of her friends?” added Oravec.

Read more: Over half of Canadian students see racial bullying in their schools, survey finds

The Mission Public Schools told Global News the incident was not reported to the school or district, but it is now investigating.

“Anti-racism and anti-oppression work is a key part of our district’s social justice and equity work,” it said in a statement.

Asked about the incident Wednesday, B.C. Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside described it as troubling.

“I don’t think an exercise like that provides a safe place for kids in our schools and were certainly looking we’ll be looking into that situation,” she said.

The family says it is anxiously awaiting answers as to how and why their daughter was put into that situation.

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