A private school in Bronxville is required to take measures including hiring a chief diversity officer, increasing diversity of students, and creating a new code of conduct as part of an agreement with the New York Attorney General's office, following a disturbing classroom lesson earlier this year. The Chapel School was investigated in March after a teacher held a mock "slave auction" during which black students were singled out to play slaves while white students purchased them.

The incident was uncovered when the fifth grade black students told their parents about what happened. One parent told the Daily News, "I’m shocked and infuriated that this happened to my son." According to the Attorney General's office, the mock slave auction occurred in two social studies classes:

[A] teacher asked all of the African-American students in each class to raise their hands, and then instructed them to exit the classroom and stand in the hallway. The teacher then placed imaginary chains or “shackles,” on these students’ necks, wrists, and ankles, and had them walk back into the classroom. The teacher then instructed the African-American students to line up against the wall, and proceeded to conduct a simulated auction of the African-American students in front of the rest of the class. These “auctions” reenacted the sale of African-American students to their white counterparts.

The teacher, Rebecca Antinozzi, was fired. She claimed she was just trying to illustrate how slaves were taken against their will.

"I said, 'OK, how many of you are African-American?' They raised their hand," Antinozzi recounted to News 12 in an interview. "I said, 'OK, go line up the door for me please.' So they lined up by the door. I said, 'If you were living during this time, you would be treated unfairly and brought to the new world against your will, and forced to work. And basically what would happen is they would say, OK, let's bid $10, $20, $30, $40, $50 -- OK great, males sit down, you're working in the field; females, sit down, you're working in the domestic household.' -- And that was literally under two minutes."

However, the Attorney General's office said its investigation "found that the teacher’s reenactments in the two classes had a profoundly negative effect on all of the students present—especially the African-American students—and the school community at large" and that there had been "prior parental complaints to school administrators about the school’s lack of racial sensitivity, pre-dating the classroom reenactments, as well as concerns that the school did not take sufficient steps to address the complaints."

Here are the actions the Chapel School agreed to take as part of the agreement with the Attorney General:

- Hire a Chief Diversity Officer, subject to the Attorney General’s approval;
- Develop and submit a Staff Diversification Plan proposing steps the school will take annually to increase minority representation among the school’s teaching faculty;
Commit new financial aid to maintain and increase diversity within the student body;
- Submit a new Code of Conduct, subject to the Attorney General’s approval, governing all school community members and specifically addressing racial and ethnic discrimination and harassment, as well as other prohibited behaviors;
- Submit a School Discipline Reform Plan, intended to ensure equal application of disciplinary techniques to all students, with an emphasis on providing constructive feedback and teaching alternative or replacement behaviors to students;
- Identify and retain a Diversity Consultant to assist the school in developing training protocols to train students and school employees on racial/ethnic diversity and sensitivity in the educational setting, with training to follow no less than twice per academic year;
- Create a formal complaint procedure that students or parents may use to notify the school of complaints regarding harassment or discrimination, and publicize the new procedure to school community members; and
- Maintain records of complaints, investigations of complaints, and the implementation of other elements of relief in the agreement.

Tuition for the school is $12,400 a year, for kindergarten through fifth grade and then rises to $13,900 for sixth through eighth grades.

“Every young person—regardless of race—deserves the chance to attend school free of harassment, bias, and discrimination," Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. "Lessons designed to separate children on the basis of race have no place in New York classrooms, or in classrooms throughout this country. I thank The Chapel School for agreeing to take measures that directly address the issues of race, diversity and inclusion at the school. My office will continue efforts to promote safe environments where all students can learn and thrive."