For Black History Month, Students Asked to Play 'Runaway Slave' Game in Gym Class

February 22, 2019 AT 7:05 AM

By Alex Johnson

The principal of an elementary school in the Virginia suburbs of Washington has apologized for a gym class exercise in which pupils were told to act as runaway slaves for Black History Month.

"The lesson was culturally insensitive to our students and families. I extend my sincerest apology to our students and school community," David Stewart, principal of Madison's Trust Elementary School in Ashburn, Virginia, said in a letter to parents dated Feb. 12 and obtained by NBC Washington.

The incident is especially sensitive for Virginia, whose governor, Ralph Northam, has apologized after it was revealed that a racist photo appeared on his page in his 1984 medical school yearbook, which featured men in blackface and Ku Klux Klan robes. Northam has refused bipartisan calls to resign.

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