During an American history lesson at Chapelfield Elementary School in Gahanna, Ohio, the class was divided into slaves and masters.
Nikko Burton, an African-American student who was assigned to the role of the slave, told WBNS-TV that while being a slave didn't bother him at first, he soon became offended.
He said the students who were playing the part of master were told to feel the students playing slaves to see if they were healthy and strong and thus worth buying.
"The masters got to touch people and do all sorts of stuff," Nikko said. "They got to look in your mouth and feel your legs and stuff and see if you're strong and stuff."
Nikko's mother, Aneka Burton, said her son was so humiliated that she complained to the school district.
Although officials declined to comment, a district spokeswoman said the slave auction was part of the state required curriculum and that it was a one-time lesson.
That may not be enough to appease Nikko's mom.
"He felt degraded, he was hurt, and the kids picked on him later," Burton said. "I feel like that was totally inappropriate; it was racist and it was degrading."
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