Long Island teacher accused of comparing black students to monkeys in field trip photo

A Long Island high school is under fire after one of its teachers presented a classroom slideshow showing a photo of four black students at the Bronx Zoo with the caption, “Monkey Do,” followed by a snap of a gorilla.

Parents of the Longwood High School students pictured in the photo – taken during a zoology class trip last month  – have blasted the unidentified teacher’s presentation as racist.

“The whole picture and the caption was very upsetting because it was comparing our kids to a monkey or a gorilla, which, there is a history on this when it comes to black people — so it was very disturbing,” Latisha Moye, a mother of a 16-year-old boy in the photo told News 12 Long Island.

The students pictured in the photograph show them lined up behind one another with a hand on the person’s head in front of them.

“One person said that they look like slaves,” Moye added.

In a statement, the Longwood Central School District admitted that the photo was “culturally insensitive.”

“For the past several years, the high school teacher has taken a similar photo for use in a classroom PowerPoint presentation. This particular photo was an unfortunate lapse of judgment,” the school district said.

“Without the intent of doing so, the photo was taken without fully understanding the sensitivity or the hurt it may have caused and reminds us that we must be more aware of the feelings of our multi-cultural population.”

The district said that the Superintendent and the High School Administration have since met with the teacher, community members and the families involved.

“We are proud of the diversity at Longwood Schools, and we will continue to provide sensitivity training to our students and staff to raise awareness of our cultural differences. Longwood is committed to providing an educational environment that is nurturing, supportive, safe, and conducive to learning,” the statement said.

But some of the parents involved are not satisfied with the Suffolk County school’s response and are called for a public apology and for the teacher responsible to be suspended without pay.

“When kids make mistakes, they have to deal with the consequences,” Moye told the news outlet. “He’s an adult, especially being 22 years a teacher, he should know what and what not to do, especially putting animals to a face.”

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