• A Mississippi school is facing backlash after her son reportedly received a "monkey award" at school.
  • Shemekia Ellis told WMC News that her son, who is Black, got the award "for entertaining others."
  • Now, she is calling for an apology from school officials. 

A Mississippi school is under fire after a mother claimed that her 5-year-old son received a "monkey award" in class, saying "it's unacceptable," WMC News reported

Shemekia Ellis is calling for accountability and an apology from Batesville Elementary, which is in the northern part of the state, and South Panola School District officials after Braylen, who is Black, received the award "for entertaining others," according to the report. 

When Ellis met with district officials she said she was informed that the teacher was not aware that likening Black people to monkeys was offensive, the outlet reported. 

"I'm still not happy about it," Ellis told WMC. "I'm angry because I don't understand why my son got the monkey award when he received an award that he completed Pre-K."

Ellis told the news station the school's principal explained to her that Braylen got the award during an animal-themed ceremony. It's not clear if other children in the class received the same award. 

According to the report, Ellis said the principal claimed the teacher gave it to the pre-K student for "his energy," however the mother said the certificate was for "entertainment."

The principal added that she warned her staff about handing out awards to the kids that would be considered offensive, per the outlet. School officials said a similar incident would not happen again moving forward. 

"These teachers have messed up. They were wrong," Ellis said, the outlet reported. "The superintendent knew they were wrong. The principal knew they were wrong. They need to be held accountable for what they have done."

The South Panola School District did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

Read the full report at WMC News»

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