A cotton plant growing at Campbell Elementary School drew criticism online today, but Arlington Public Schools said allegations that staff were going to make kids “pick cotton” was a misunderstanding.
“At no time, never, was the school going to have students pick cotton,” said APS spokesman Frank Bellavia.
Catherine Ashby, the Director of Communications for APS, tells ARLnow that a teacher planted cotton seeds in pots as an experiment to see how they would grow. Social media posts about the experiment from the teacher prompted objections from other educators.
“She tweeted about her experiment and what she was growing, and that’s what got other staff members upset about what she was doing,” said Ashby.
Community members started talking online about the incident after an email circulated from Campbell Principal Maureen Nesselrode, who called a staff meeting to discuss what to do with the plant. Bellavia said the plant was destroyed after the meeting.
“Once they realized staff had concerns about the prospects of this they decided to remove the plants,” Ashby said of yesterday’s meeting with the principal. “End of story.”
So @CampbellAPS @APSVirginia in Arlington, Virginia @ARLnowDOTcom is holding a discussion today to decide whether or not it’s offensive to have students pick cotton as part of a history lesson. What do y’all think? Is this okay or offensive? @AngieAnge @DJQUICKSILVA black twitter pic.twitter.com/BUSW8xeEGP
— Live Laugh Love (@MissGodley) May 16, 2019
One Twitter user, who said her name was R. Jones, shared a screenshot of the email. She told ARLnow that a school staff member had forwarded it to her and they were both “angry and offended” about the racial undertones of a teacher planting cotton.
“What do y’all think? Is this okay or offensive?” asked Jones on Twitter.
In the email, Nesselrode asked that “anyone who would like to discuss the prospect of planting cotton seeds” join the Tuesday afternoon meeting “so we can address various viewpoints and come to a mutual understanding.”
Bellavia and Ashby said that Jones had drawn the wrong assumptions about the planting.
Photo via Kimberly Vardeman/Flickr
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“Probing the highly imaginative, inspired mind of Teresa Oaxaca is not altogether unlike having a present-day conversation with an Old Master,” says Nashville Arts Magazine.
Here is an unusual opportunity to learn from this incredibly talented and accessible artist, at Art House 7’s two-day oil painting workshop in October. Teresa will give 2 portrait painting demonstrations for 3 hours each morning. Students will then be painting from a clothed live model. Teresa will offer individual critiques that focus on materials, techniques, process and artistic vision. You’ll get jazzed up about painting and become more confident about your abilities.
Art House 7, Two-Day Oil Painting Workshop with Teresa Oaxaca. Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT $250.
See more about Teresa Oaxaca here. Art House 7 5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22207
Validating one’s emotions has the power to heal, transform, and empower. What Is Validation? Every human being has feelings. We all have emotions that change over time, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. The question isn’t whether we feel; it’s how we handle feelings once they arise.
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