(NBC NEWS) -- The principal of a D.C. elementary school apologized after an in-class assignment ended with a black fifth-grade student being asked to portray a slave and another being asked to pretend they were drinking from a segregated water fountain.
The incident happened at Lafayette Elementary School during a social studies lesson on the Civil War and Reconstruction. In a letter to parents, a team of teachers at the school said students were told to separate into smaller groups and create either a podcast or a dramatic reading.
It was during this group activity that some black students were asked by their fellow classmates "to play roles that are inappropriate and harmful," the letter, obtained by NBC News, read.
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