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Teacher apologizes for Missouri high school students 'lighthearted' video on slavery

Teacher apologizes for Missouri high school students 'lighthearted' video on slavery

Students make 'light-hearted' video about slavery

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A video made by a group of white social studies students about slavery is drawing criticism for its attempts to make the topic lighthearted.

The students in Mid-Buchanan R-V School District teacher Colby Gibson’s social studies class created a video illustrating the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which was a measure to provide the return of escaped slaves who had fled to the north.

The video depicted the plight of the runaway slaves with musical snippets from the "Mission Impossible" television theme music, "Song of the South" and parts of a tune about picking cotton. It also included a scene that showed one student whipping a runaway "slave."

The school is in Faucett, Mo., in northwest Missouri. Mid-Buchanan has a dozen African-American students in seventh through 12th grades.

Gibson said the video wasn’t meant to be offensive and "probably could have been done in better taste."

"I don’t think that it was meant to be offensive and if it was, I apologize. I’m sure the students would apologize as well,” he said.

The students posted the video on YouTube, but it was removed after the St. Joseph News-Press brought it to the attention of school officials. Superintendent John James said he was not aware of the video until a reporter asked him about it. 

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