Detroit Renaissance High School teacher accused of calling students 'slaves' during lesson

DPSCD confirms an investigation is ongoing

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

DETROIT - What started as a lesson about ancient Greece is now an investigation into a Detroit Renaissance High School teacher's comments to his class.

Parents said this was a world history class and students were learning about the Helots of Sparta, an enslaved class of people.

"He adds on, after they learn about the Helots, ‘you're all Helots,'" Jamon Jordan said. "He tells the students they're Helots, and my child, my son Joshua, states ‘Are you saying we're slaves?' And the teacher without pausing says, ‘Yeah, you're slaves. You're like slaves, just like they are. You're like slaves to us because you have to do what we teachers tell you to do.'"

Jordan's 11th-grade son went home and told his father about the exchange in the classroom.

"On one level, that might almost sound like a joke, but it becomes uncomfortable because you're comparing students to slaves and this is a white teacher in an all African-American classroom," Jordan said.

Jordan emailed the superintendent and got a quick response. DPSCD confirms an investigation is underway into what was said in the classroom.

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