Officials at Brantley Elementary School in Selma, Ala. placed a sixth-grade teacher on paid administrative leave on Wednesday after he directed his students to reenact the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Brown, a resident of Ferguson, Mo., died on Aug. 9 after a police officer, Darren Wilson, shot him a number of times.
The reenactment came to light on Tuesday after Jessica Baughn, the mother of an 11-year-old Brantley Elementary student, complained about it on Sound Off Selma, a Facebook page, reports The Selma Times-Journal.
According to Baughn, the unidentified teacher instructed students to research the details of Brown’s death. Where did it happen? How many times did he get shot?
As local school district superintendent Don Willingham later explained, the sixth-grade children then presented a skit about the incident in class. Willingham noted that the Ferguson shooting initially came up in class because the teacher was discussing current events.
According to Baughn, the teacher asked his charges to construct fake paper guns. For bullets, he had his charges use little wads of paper. Baughn’s son, a white kid named Jimmy Griffin, was the shooter in the skit.
I wonder how the little tyke depicted Officer Wilson’s busted eye-socket, courtesy of Michael Brown’s fist? Papier mâché, probably. Or clay. And they can’t have used real cigars like the kind Brown shoplifted, or engaged in real physical intimidation against the shopkeeper, as Brown was shown to have done on video.
But that’s the magic of the theater. If Shakespeare could depict the battle of Agincourt in Hnery V, 11-year-olds at Brantley Elementary can reenact Michael Brown’s felony-riddled death. What I wouldn’t have given for a seat front row, center.
Oh, for a muse of firepower!