Statz thought this could be a teachable moment, so that week she used a children’s book, an educational video and a worksheet to lead a discussion on racism and why people were protesting. She considered the materials neutral. The worksheet posed questions like, “What is the Black Lives Matter Movement trying to do?” and “How Do We Stop Systemic Racism?” The students seemed engaged, and asked a lot of questions, she said.
“One of the Black girls in my class came up to me and said, ‘Thank you so much for teaching our class about racism,’” Statz, who is white, said. Another Black child — one of fewer than 50 Black students in a district of more than 3,000 — gave her a hug after the lesson, she said.
Later that night, a colleague told Statz to look at a private community Facebook group with more than 40,000 members called “Burlington, WI, buy sell & trade.” Her stomach dropped.