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CAIR-NY Applauds Attorney General Letitia James for Swift Action in Response to Teacher’s Mock ‘Slave Auction’

(NEW YORK, NY, 5/31/19) — The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded Attorney General Letitia James for her office’s swift action in investigating and responding to a teacher’s mock “slave auctions” at The Chapel School, a private Lutheran school located in Bronxville.

In March 2019, a teacher at The Chapel School set up simulations of “slave auctions” for two fifth-grade classes.  According to the Attorney General’s office: “The teacher then placed imaginary chains or “shackles,” on these students’ necks, wrists, and ankles, and had them walk back into the classroom. The teacher then instructed the African-American students to line up against the wall, and proceeded to conduct a simulated auction of the African-American students in front of the rest of the class. These “auctions” reenacted the sale of African-American students to their white counterparts.”

SEE: Attorney General James Announces Agreement with The Chapel School Following Teacher’s Mock “Slave Auction”

“It is disturbing that the teacher felt comfortable enough to recreate “slave auctions” as a way to educate the students about America’s atrocities,” said CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed.  “This conduct has no place in any classroom.  We are grateful that Attorney General Letitia James and her team took these allegations seriously, investigated thoroughly, and reached an agreement to promote a safe learning environment for African-American students and all students at The Chapel School.”

Per the agreement between the Attorney General and the school, the school will:

  • Hire a Chief Diversity Officer, subject to the Attorney General’s approval; 
  • Develop and submit a Staff Diversification Plan proposing steps the school will take annually to increase minority representation among the school’s teaching faculty; 
  • Commit new financial aid to maintain and increase diversity within the student body; 
  • Submit a new Code of Conduct, subject to the Attorney General’s approval, governing all school community members and specifically addressing racial and ethnic discrimination and harassment, as well as other prohibited behaviors; 
  • Submit a School Discipline Reform Plan, intended to ensure equal application of disciplinary techniques to all students, with an emphasis on providing constructive feedback and teaching alternative or replacement behaviors to students; 
  • Identify and retain a Diversity Consultant to assist the school in developing training protocols to train students and school employees on racial/ethnic diversity and sensitivity in the educational setting, with training to follow no less than twice per academic year; 
  • Create a formal complaint procedure that students or parents may use to notify the school of complaints regarding harassment or discrimination, and publicize the new procedure to school community members; and  
  • Maintain records of complaints, investigations of complaints, and the implementation of other elements of relief in the agreement. 

The Washington-based civil rights organization has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president. CAIR has repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic, white supremacist and racist Trump administration policies and appointments.

Individuals in New York are asked to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at:

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: ”¯CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed,; 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher,; 917-669-4006


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