Roeper School in Birmingham closed after posting compares Barack Obama to monkeys
BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (FOX 2) – On Wednesday, FOX 2 learned of a startling assignment at a prestigious private school that compared former President Barack Obama to primates. On Thursday, the school was closed and we learned that the teacher had been placed on administrative leave.
the Roeper School is facing a wave of controversy after students in a high school biology class were given an assignment titled “an introduction to primates” and former President Barack Obama’s photo was listed. The assignment asked students to select from the photo gallery which ones were primates.
Dr Demi Karzanis sent her twin daughters to Roeper and said teachers should have done more to prevent this from happening.
“There is no excuse,” Karzanis said. “Do your due diligence! Look at the same or the handout you’re handing out. Did she think it was okay in 2022 in an awakened school?”
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FOX 2 learned that the lesson was from Duke University in 2010 and a link to the PDF was on the University’s website but disappeared Thursday afternoon after we asked questions.
“They think they’re beyond reproach because they’re a private school,” Dr. Karzanis said.
The private school in Birmingham prides itself on diversity and an alternative education, which costs up to $30,000 a year.
She said the school was cryptic about it all and not doing enough to educate students and parents.
“And then your story broke alerting the parents to what was going on and that’s really when we learned the details,” Dr Karzanis said.
After our story aired, the school sent a letter to parents warning them that classes would be canceled on Thursday due to alleged threats against the Roeper community. The school reported the threats to the police.
The school sent another apology email to parents and students and offered advice if needed. He also promised more training on racial bias for teachers.
Dr. Karzanis says even his 14-year-old daughters knew this was not acceptable.
“They knew. We didn’t even have to explain ourselves. They were also outraged,” Dr Karzanis said.
A Duke University spokesperson got back to us and said the school was unaware the document was online and that it was removed “immediately” once it was discovered. .
“It appears that the paper was created in 2010 by two undergraduate students as part of an independent study course in evolutionary anthropology. To be clear, this was a student paper. never been used as a lesson plan in a Duke classroom or by a Duke faculty member, nor was it presented as a teaching tool.